Valentine’s Day is upon us, which means a romantic comedy is right around the corner. This year we have the film Marry Me starring Jennifer Lopez as a world-famous singer who discovers that her fiancé has stepped out her on the night they are supposed to espouse in public! Based on a graphic novel of the same name by Bobby Crosby, Marry Me does feature the usual array of romantic comedy tropes, but the audience is in for a real treat, and the movie is a winning success with plenty of heart to tie it all together.
The movie takes place in New York City, where Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) is a pop icon. Similar to Madonna, Katy Perry, Adele, and many other iconic female singers, she’s a rockstar that’s known all over the world. Her fan base spans millions of followers on social media and those who attend her concerts, and her upcoming show will be the biggest of them all. On this particular night, she and her fiancé Bastian (Maluma) will wed during a live performance while singing their famous song “Marry Me” together. This night will be remembered for years to come, and it all comes crashing down when Kat sees a video on social media that reveals Bastian had an affair with Kat’s assistant!
Kat is devastated by this news, and her fans discover this at the exact moment. Kat’s entire life is known to the public, and after three previous marriages have failed, she feels another blow. Realizing that her big night is doomed, she pulls herself together and decides to make a positive out of a negative. She pauses the music, cuts the production, and wants to view the crowd in attendance. She spots a man holding a “marry me” sign referencing her song and points to him, saying that she will marry him. That man is Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), the only man in the concert hall that has no clue who she is and ends up going to the concert with his co-worker Parker (Sarah Silverman). He has no idea what’s unfolding and is a bit confused when she calls on him. He walks up on stage and agrees to marry Kat by accepting her hand in marriage, and they kiss. A rather preposterous scenario, but Kat herself admits that sometimes you have to take a chance and do something crazy.
What a magical moment achieved to heal from the pain of discovering your fiancé has cheated on you. Charlie is flattered by the idea of helping this singer out and feels that’s what he did. He has no idea what’s in store for him. Paparazzi surround him outside his home, he’s on social media everywhere, and people want to know everything about him. Charlie is a quiet man who works as a math teacher and is a single father raising his daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman). He’s divorced, doesn’t engage with social media, and lives a simple life. The exact opposite on his new “wife.” At first, Charlie thinks this is all a stunt and feels that he’s helping Kat out. Even Kat’s manager Collin (John Bradley), suggests as much. It’s agreed that Charlie and Kat will play husband and wife and will appear in photo shoots over several months. Charlie keeps a tight schedule as a teacher, and he doesn’t want any interruptions to deter him from his students.
As this newfound marriage unfolds, Charlie and Kat decide to hang out and get to know each other. Even though they had never met before that fateful night, they choose to enter different worlds and discover that they both have many things in common. A romance may develop between them even if Bastian wants a second chance with Kat. Both Lopez and Wilson display wonderful chemistry together, and nothing ever seems forced here. It feels as if they are in a relationship, and we get a sense that they could work as a couple as the months’ progress.
There are plenty of comedic moments in the movie, and the screenwriters have opted for a smart script that allows the comedy to be natural without trying too hard. Outside of the romantic comedic elements, the songs, the costumes, and the performances all work tremendously—big credit to both Lopez and Maluma for their work on the musical tunes. Owen Wilson gives a great performance as an ordinary man who has mistakenly entered this strange world of a pop star and feels so uncertain about his ordeal he questions if it makes any sense.
Director Kat Coiro brings a lot of energy to this movie, and with everything happening in the film, it doesn’t feel as if anything was rushed. Marry Me is a bitter-sweet movie that surprised me. I was impressed with the production design, costumes, and overall feel of the movie. This isn’t one of those stupid romantic comedies that drain us. Instead, we are electrified by the end and are cheering along the way. This is perhaps one of the best movies to star Jennifer Lopez in many years, especially given her past romantic comedy appearances. I say bravo to everyone involved with this project.
Score 4.5 out of 5
Marry Me is a wonderful film filled with charming performances by the principal cast and features an upbeat, exciting soundtrack that gets you moving. This is the perfect date movie to watch for Valentine’s Day or any day for that matter, and the script is smart enough to give the audience characters we care about and features a sweet romance that feels natural and even truly romantic. This is certainly not one of those cheesy rom coms. This is a feel-good movie that will leave you smiling and just may surprise you even if you weren’t intending on viewing it in the first place.