Want to see the video version of this interview? Click here to watch Nick’s chat with Marry Me director, Kat Coiro!
Leading up to the release of Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson’s latest romantic-comedy, Marry Me, hitting cinemas February 10 – just in time for Valentine’s Day! – I was lucky enough to sit down and have a 1-on-1 chat with the film’s director, Kat Coiro! Thank you to Universal Pictures Australia for the chance to chat with Kat!
Congratulations on the film’s release. I watched it with my girlfriend, and we both laughed and smiled and cheered and cried, so I think you have a very successful Valentine’s Day movie on your hands!
With rom-coms being one of the film genres that has withstood the test of cinematic time, what was one element, as a director, that you wanted to include in Marry Me that was going to leave your stamp on the genre?
Kat: I’m so glad you said that! So many people say: “Oh the rom-com is dead!” And I’m like: “The rom-com has never died!” I wanted to lean unapologetically into the genre, but like you said, you also need something in there for it to stand out. To me, this is the story of two people falling in love, but also, independently, a story of a woman who is trying to find her voice. As she goes through this romance, she’s also crafting her career and navigating, you know, finding a way to use what she’s going through emotionally to fuel her art. By the end of the film, when she isn’t with either Bastian or Charlie, she writes the song that defines her career! And I love Notting Hill, and that’s something we reference in this, but you only see the world perspective through Hugh Grant’s character and it’s just about their relationship. So, to me, this film is bigger than the romance! It’s also a musical that harkens back to the Busby Berkeley days, and not in the way where they are all bursting into song because they can’t hold in their emotions, but all the songs are tied into the narrative of this story. I think, you know, to me, those two things really set it apart from the rom-com’s that I love!
And then on the other end of that spectrum, what is one of the tried and tested aspects of a rom-com that you feel is necessary for Marry Me to work?
Kat: The idea of running to your love at the end of the movie, you know, when you’ve figured it all out! It’s something we’ve seen many times, but it works again and again and again. Everyone wants to have that boldness and that bravery to seize something we love, and to make sacrifices, and just cast off the shackles of everyday life to go and hold that dream tight! I do love the fact that in our case, it’s the woman running through the airport and holding up the sign! When that’s done right, it always works and you can’t help but feel something.
I saw in a featurette for the film a few days ago, that you feel Marry Me has elements of a ‘fantasy movie’ – is that something early on in the process that was important to you for the romance between Kat and Charlie?
Kat: I think that when you do find love, it always feels a little bit like a fantasy and reality is suspended and the world is a little more colourful. Things you might not usually notice are now crystal clear. When you set out to capture love, there is a heightened reality to it! You can call it ‘fantasy’ or you can just call it ‘falling in love’! One of the things I look for in a script is that moment that makes the whole film work. And in this movie, it’s when she [Kat] chooses him [Charlie] out of the audience. And it’s not because she’s desperate, she chooses him because she looks out in a sea of people on their phones, Instagramming, laughing at her, happy to see her fall, gossiping! She sees a guy actually listening to her and what she is saying. That to me was always the heart of the film!
Thank you again for your time and I just wanted to say that I am eagerly awaiting She-Hulk!
Kat: Yay! Awesome! Bye!
Thank you again to Universal Pictures Australia for giving me the chance to talk with Kat! You can check out Alaisdair’s review of Marry Me here, and Nick’s coverage of the Marry Me press conference including interviews with Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson here. Marry Me is in cinemas February 10.
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