It’s been a while since we have had a Jennifer Lopez rom-com. Fortunately, 2022 is bringing us Marry Me, delivering another solid Valentine’s day movie with a banging soundtrack that is fuelled by solid performances from its entire cast. Combining a stereotypical romance and inserting comedy is not easy to do, and director Kat Coiro nails the balance perfectly in this new rom-com classic.
The story follows international pop star Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) and her fiancee, fellow pop star Bastian (Maluma), preparing to get married at an arena-style concert broadcast across the world. Moments before they are due to be married, Page 6 leaks a video of Basian cheating with Kat’s assistant. Hence, she does what any regular pop star would do, pick a fan from the crowd, in this case, Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), holding a “Marry Me” poster and well marries him instead of Bastian. Things turn very Notting Hill from this moment as the two navigate how their very two different worlds will work and if they do, in fact, love each other.
Along for the ride is Charlie’s colleague and friend Parker (Sarah Silverman) and Kat’s manager Collin (John Bradley) to provide the comic relief and support friend banter that films like this rely on to get their laughs. Fortunately, Silverman and Bradley shine in their supporting roles.
A part of the film reflects on women and age in the music industry, which is touched on but never perceived as preachy. There are elements of the greatest hits of romantic comedies past with Notting Hill, Love Actually and even The Bodyguard, all a clear homage to this story albeit with a modern twist.
The chemistry between Lopez and Wilson is fantastic; with her many years in the industry, Lopez no doubt pulls on that to bring authenticity to Kat and her strength when her world falls apart in front of the world and needs to reclaim the narrative. Wilson is perfect as the everyday math teacher. I don’t think I have ever seen a movie that can make a mathalon team look cool. Factoring in Charlie’s daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman) and the rest of the team helps Kat and Charlie find a connection to bring both of their worlds together to see how they could possibly have a relationship.
The two things that this movie absolutely nails is the fashion (in particular for Kat) and the music. The outfits for Kat in all of the live musical numbers are jaw-dropping; the immaculate detail in her wedding dress, along with a Lady Gaga looking get up for her comeback song, looks incredible on the big screen. Going hand in hand is 12 new songs from Jennifer Lopez and Maluma, which are absolute bangers and could easily be released as mainstream singles.
Through all of the love and sparkle, the heart of this film is family and connections. Sure there are subplots and hidden messages about how we have lost ourselves in the social media age and needing to reconnect with people face to face. Still, they also counter this by showing what good social media can do to get your message out there for a cause. Oh, and a bit of will they/won’t they as well.
Marry Me reignited my love of romantic comedies. After the last few years of life and lockdowns, if you are pondering on seeing Marry Me, the correct answer is, I do.
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