Currently playing in cinemas, and based on a graphic novel by Bobby Crosby, is the romantic comedy, Marry Me. The movie – directed by Kat Coiro – stars Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, and tells the story of a world-famous pop star and a maths teacher, who develop a romantic relationship after they get married unexpectedly.
In the movie, Kat Valdez is an international hit singer who is adored the world over. She has a legion of fans, plenty of money in the bank, and a life and career that revolves around social media and fame.
As part of her famous lifestyle, she and her fiancé plan to get married in a huge ceremony. But rather than do it behind closed doors, they aim to stream the event live at one of Kat’s concerts, accompanied by one of Kat’s hit records, ‘Marry Me’.
However, on the night of the concert things quickly sour, when Kat discovers her fiancé has been cheating on her. Taking to the stage moments after learning the news, she announces to her fans the wedding is off, just as the ceremony is getting underway.
Visibly distressed, Kat notices a stranger in the crowd, holding a board with the words ‘Marry Me’ written across it. Taking this as an opportunity to find love somewhere new, she says ‘yes’ to the stranger.
That stranger is single parent and maths teacher, Charlie Gilbert, who is in attendance at the concert with his daughter and his work friend, Parker. The sign belongs to Parker, and Charlie is merely holding onto it – it certainly isn’t meant as a proposal.
But seeing Kat emotionally distressed, Charlie agrees to go along with the proposal and soon the pair get married and enter into an agreement to play out a faux relationship. Kat’s management team believe it will soften the press response to the disastrous ceremony, and in time when the media coverage dies down, the pair can go their separate ways.
However, the more time that Kat and Charlie spend together, the more they find common ground, and what started as a mix-up, shows signs of becoming something truly special. But will the pair find love or will they go through the motions and eventually move on?
When I first saw the poster for Marry Me, hung up on the wall at my local cinema, I was surprised to see Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez playing opposite each other in a romantic comedy. While both have proved themselves to be quite likeable in various roles throughout their careers, I never thought of them being placed together on screen as a romantic couple.
I then saw the trailer for Marry Me, and after a few minutes of footage, I doubled down on my thoughts. In my mind, there was no way this movie could work, because the leads just don’t seem to go together.
But having now watched Marry Me, and having seen what Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez bring to the screen, I take back some of my initial thoughts. Sure, the Wilson/Lopez combo still seems odd in places, but you know what? It kind of works.
Marry Me isn’t a movie built around the idea of two characters falling instantly in love with each other, nor is it about the ‘zinging’ chemistry between the two leads; it is instead about two people who get to know each other over time, and who find love through friendship. All the actors need to do is be likeable, compassionate, and enjoyable to watch, and both Wilson and Lopez manage this perfectly.
And what helps them out greatly is that Marry Me is a fairly enjoyable romantic comedy. It is bright, breezy, and fluffy in all the right places, and while it is not amazing, it is entertaining.
Marry Me won’t win any awards for originality, but for those who love a dash of romance with their popcorn, this film does the trick. It has plenty of heart to delight fans of the rom-com genre, while it ticks just enough boxes for anyone looking for a bit of escapism.
What works best about this movie is that both lead characters come across as nice people. This isn’t one of those movies in which one of the characters is awful, yet the couple get together anyway (much to the audience’s confusion), because it says so in the script.
Both Kat and Charlie are quite pleasant, and although Kat is depicted as a starlet who is very much a part of the media/social media machine, she is still down to Earth where it counts. As such, it isn’t difficult to see why Charlie falls for her.
Of course, the fact that she is played by the gorgeous Jennifer Lopez also helps, but the film really sells the idea that Charlie likes Kat for who she is. Likewise, Kat falls for Charlie because he is a regular guy, and someone who treats her with respect.
For all its fluffiness and for all its reliance on rom-com tropes, it is the writing around these two characters where the movie really shines. This writing makes the characters somewhat relatable, and the relationship that follows all makes sense in the fullness of time.
The movie is then enhanced by some dashes of comedy coming from the supporting players, as well as some enjoyable tunes being belted out by Lopez. In fact, if you’re a fan of Lopez you will find plenty to like in this movie, especially coming from the soundtrack, which includes a duet between Lopez and Colombian singer/actor, Maluma.
While Marry Me isn’t the greatest romantic comedy of all time, it is fine and it certainly has the power to brighten up a miserable February morning. The characters work, the story plays out at an enjoyable pace, and the movie builds up just enough goodwill to get it over the line.
If you like movies of this particular ilk, then it should find you well. And if you simply want a frothy bit of distraction, it should do that job too.