Marry Me Review: Easily enjoyable chemistry and direction overtakes recycled rom com plot
Universal’s newest rom com starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, Marry Me, certainly has its overly familiar genre traits, but has enough charm and warmth to win just about anyone over.
The film, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Bobby Crosby, follows music superstar Kat Valdez (Lopez) as she’s about to get married to her equally famous fiancé Bastian (Maluma) as they perform their hit song “Marry Me” before exchanging vows on stage in front of the whole world. However, just before they take the stage, tabloids reveal Bastian’s affair with Kat’s assistant causing Kat’s heart to shatter as she heads on stage and for her to spontaneously break-up with Bastian and marry Charlie (Wilson), a math teacher holding a “Marry Me” sign in the crowd. Although they live completely different lives, Kat and Charlie give their marriage a chance and begin to form a real connection.
At its core, Marry Me is essentially a mish mash of every kind of rom com you’ve seen over the last decade or so. Kat and Charlie’s relationship is basically the celebrity dating a normal everyday person storyline we’ve seen many times. Kat struggles to see the world outside of her scheduled and social media driven celebrity life and barely understands how to do things without her assistant. Charlie, on the other hand, is the definition of a boring dad and has little ambition to do anything outside of his current existence. Their relationship has its ups and downs as they struggle to see each other’s point of view. If these two weren’t played by Lopez and Wilson, they’d probably be incredibly bland characters, especially with some of the jokes given to them.
There’s literally a whole montage where Kat constantly fails at doing menial tasks and just looks unnecessarily dimwitted and the whole big moment of Kat and Charlie seeing what its like to walk in each other’s shoes doesn’t feel all that impactful. Honestly, the story as a whole goes through the normal motions of Kat and Charlie coming together and breaking apart and generally feels like a recycled rom-com plot. It’s not bad by any standard, but certainly unoriginal.
However, Marry Me ends up not being a bland watch because Lopez and Wilson are a constant delight and the direction from Kat Coiro creates some genuinely touching moments with these characters. The comedic chemistry between Lopez and Wilson gets consistent laughs and they give Kat and Charlie’s otherwise forced relationship some genuinely touching beats. Some of the best moments of Marry Me are simply when these two are together on screen just having a real conversation or moment together and it’s a testament to the good performances these two bring and Coiro’s strong direction.
Coiro constantly elevates the film’s script and story by creating these genuinely touching moments between Kat and Charlie that keep them from being caricatures and add some nice depth. The whole sequence after Kat and Charlie exchange vows on stage feels like it is told through a realistic perspective and there are actually some great aspects to Kat about how her celebrity image is kind of a downfall for her. You can actually feel how her public image as a romantic trainwreck hurts her and it makes her attempts at actually taking her relationship with Charlie seriously come from a real place. Kat being a hopeless romantic that brings Charlie out of his shell is actually a great heartfelt part of their story and it carries this hopefulness about love that’s maintained well and easy to connect to.
Also, one of the big worries going into Marry Me was that it simply going to be a film selling an album since the original music from Lopez and Maluma felt like a giant selling point, but it ends up being a cohesive part of the film. The music is great and nicely fits with scenes by adding some richer emotion to the story. Instead of overtaking things, the music helps drive the story and fits well with Kat’s personal arc.
Marry Me is undoubtedly like most rom coms you’ve seen before, but some confident direction from Coiro and enjoyably engaging lead performances from Lopez and Wilson make Marry Me a heartwarming watch with some light-hearted laughs anyone can enjoy.