Romantic comedies are a joy to consume. When done well, far-fetched tales of true love prevailing can create a comforting environment for the viewer. Over the years, both Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez have shined in romantic comedies. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the duo teams up for a new rom-com titled Marry Me, which enjoys a dual bow in theaters and on Peacock. In many ways, Marry Me takes some of the best the genre has to offer and adapts them into a neat, comforting package. The film does not reinvent the wheel by any stretch of the imagination. However, it does offer a fun, out-of-this-world adventure of loss, love, and moving forward.
Directed by Kat Coiro, who expands her relationship with Peacock after helming the pilot for the streamer’s hit series Girls5eva, Marry Me quickly establishes where both main characters are in their lives. Kat Valdez (Lopez) is a major pop star excited to marry her on-stage partner Bastian (Maluma). The wedding is supposed to take place in the public eye, in front of thousands of adoring fans. In that very audience is Charlie Gilbert (Wilson), who only attends the concert at the persistent urging of his friend Parker (Sarah Silverman) and his daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman).
However, moments before the greatest moment of her life, Kat discovers that Sebastian has been cheating on her with her assistant. In a moment seeping with pure adrenaline, Kat takes to the stage and delivers a vulnerable address to the audience. At this moment, Lopez flexes her dramatic muscles and feels believable. The pain of betrayal is something many of us can relate to. Thankfully, Lopez does not disappoint in expressing those feelings genuinely. However, it’s what she does next that truly sets the plot in motion. Just when she feels the worst pain imaginable, she makes the rash decision to go on with the wedding. But with Charlie, who just happens to be holding a sign that says “marry me” in all capital letters.
The aftermath allows the audience to know the now-married couple a bit better. Kat’s backstory of being raised by a single father who died before she became a phenomenon shows how strong her spirit is. On the other hand, Charlie’s daughter and dedication to his career as a teacher and math club coach show how wholesome and genuine the character is. In their own ways, the duo both seek to make the world around them a better place. In a different universe, they may have both found themselves together regardless. A shining spot amidst the chaos is Kat’s friend and manager Collin (John Bradley). His patience with Charlie and tenderness towards Kat provides some of the movie’s best moments. In many ways, Collin coincides with Charlie’s best friend Parker. They both do all they can to help the folks they love make sense of the unusual experience.
The film hits all the typical beats of our favorite rom-coms. The leads come from very different words and carry differing motivations and goals. However, what screenwriters John Rogers, Tami Sagher, and Harper Dill do excellently is create two extremely likable characters. Both Kat and Charlie are easy to root for. Lopez and Wilson display some dynamic chemistry thanks to subtle glances and body language that speaks volumes. Marry Me is simply about two people enjoying each other’s company and fighting against their built-in qualms to try and make this sudden romance work. It’s heartwarming. It’s comforting. Sure, it’s quirky but it works. Additionally, the soundtrack, mostly featuring original music by Lopez, is great and offers more substance to the various montages of falling in love.
Overall, the movie’s well-matched leads and the wholesome tale of discovering forbidden love against all odds come together to create a solid romantic comedy. The film’s jokes land and the drama hits home in a few powerful moments asking “is this the right thing to do?” The film does little to separate itself from the romantic comedies that come before it. However, it feels refreshing, fun, and, in many ways, comforting to see two folks let their guard down and come together in the end. – Christian Hubbard
Marry Me is in theaters and streaming on Peacock now!
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