Director Kat Coiro
Screenplay John Rogers, Tami Sagher, Harper Dill based on the graphic novel by Bobby Crosby
Starring Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, John Bradley, Chloe Coleman, Sara Silverman
Marry Me is a romantic comedy without the comedy. It’s Notting Hill without the depth of character. In the end, it feels like Jennifer Lopez discovered a graphic novel that mirrored how she felt in her own life and followed through on the dream, at least for a movie. In real life, she went back to one cheater after leaving another.
The performances in Marry Me are all decent. There is a supportive team following every scene. No one outside of the philandering Maluma and Lopez’s Kat Valdez’ personal assistant show anything less than kindness to any character. Even Maluma isn’t all that bad a guy.
The gimmick is Valdez and Bastian (Maluma) are planning a wedding in front of thousands in the crowd and millions of social media followers. Just as she’s rising to the occasion in her dress, Kat discovers that her betrothed has cheated on her. In a moment of sad desperation, she sees teacher Charlie Gilbert (Wilson) in the crowd holding a sign with the title of the movie on it and she decides to take him up on the offer. Only problem is, Charlie was only holding the sign because of the hit song of the same title.
As a character, Wilson’s Charlie is everything in which a multi-marriage social media legend might fall in love. He’s been married once himself. He has a daughter, Lou (Coleman) who is embarrassed by his enthusiasm for her. He’s got the ever supportive lesbian co-worker friend (Silverman) who fills in the narrative gaps and gives exposition in a palsy kind of way. He’s also very uninteresting. That doesn’t matter though. He’s just someone to fall back on.
The story finds the couple scrambling after they are married in front of the world. They are nice though, so they are not going to be hurting each other now, even in this extreme circumstance. What follows is a bunch of sweet, if bland moments where they get comfortable with each other, then wait for the faux crisis.
This moment comes and passes so obliquely, we almost don’t realize that the situation has any gravity. They place a timer on it all, but no one is leaving on a jet plane. They are arriving for a math contest. Riveting stuff.
If you are a fan of Owen Wilson, you can probably skip this one. He’s not even close to engaging here. At best he lectures the world renowned pop singer to do some things on her own. It reminds me of how I speak to my daughters, so even I got tired of hearing it soon. Coleman is worth watching as his somewhat normal daughter. Kat’s agent is played by Samwell Tarley himself (Bradley) and he’s supportive here as he ever is on Game of Thrones.
This movie is J. Lo’s fantasy, though. And a fantasy it will have to remain. She showed up to the Superbowl where Peacock advertised this movie as she was arm and arm with Ben Affleck. I don’t think we will see Affleck coaching a math team any time soon.
(**1/2 out of *****)