Cert – 12, Run-time – 1 hour 52 minutes, Director – Kat Coiro
On finding out that her fiancé (Maluma) has been cheating on her, moments before getting married on stage before millions of people, pop singer Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) decides to marry maths teacher Charlie (Owen Wilson), a stranger in the crowd.
It’s been stated already by many people that the combination of Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson is perhaps a slightly odd one within a rom-com. However, Marry Me understands that and runs with it as part of its narrative. Lopez plays pop superstar Kat Valdez. Currently on tour with her fiancé, Bastian (Maluma), the final date is booked in to hold the couple’s marriage, live on stage in front of millions of viewers around the world. Their song Marry Me has been a smash hit, and the point of which the tour has revolved around. However, when Kat discovers that Bastian has been cheating on her moments before their about to exchange vows she calls the wedding off, or at least that one. In the crowd she spots maths teacher Charlie (Wilson) holding a Marry Me sign and on the spot agrees to do so. Cue media storm as the newlyweds are hounded by the press; fascinated at this random marriage between one of the most recognisable pop stars on the planet and a man with a passion for maths who has never heard of her before, only taking his daughter (Chloe Coleman) along to the concert when invited by a work-friend (Sarah Silverman).
As the film travels along its course it makes it clear that it’s not trying to be consistently laugh-out-loud funny. There are certainly a handful of chuckles throughout, particularly from Silverman as the guidance councillor at Wilson’s school, but there’s perhaps a more rom leaning nature to this rom-com than anything else. You’re kept in place throughout by the rather likable nature of everything. Wilson and Lopez do muster up a fair bit of chemistry and create an enjoyable set of figures gradually getting to know each other throughout the film. It gets to the point where a big grin spreads across your face as you simply sit back and embrace Lopez walking into Wilson’s math club, preparing for an upcoming major competition, and teaching the class about dealing with fear in the moment via the medium of dance maths.
It’s during such moments that a handful of pop songs begin to appear, after all the film does revolve around a pop star. And while in many films like this pop songs will feel rather tacky or slightly forced in tone those within Marry Me actually feel as if they could be something you hear in the charts (although I couldn’t tell you anything that’s currently in the charts myself…). It overall adds to the general nature of the film, makes the relationship that bit more believable and keeps you engaged and in place for the just under two hour run-time. The occasional chuckles add to your engagement with the piece and simply add another layer to the film that makes it a rather nice surprise, in the end bringing it above the line of a middle-of-the-road rom-com thanks to its general energy alone. This alongside the performances of the central cast, and supporting faces such as Silverman, John Bradley (after bringing a number of laughs to Moonfall just a couple of weeks ago) and Coleman (carrying on from 2020’s pleasant surprise My Spy, although sometimes pushed aside for the sake of the narrative in this case).
Even as the third act slightly begins to make a slight dip into more distracting conventionality a quick song and montage make a turnaround of this and continue the consistent tone that came beforehand. Yes, there may be convention and familiar lines, but does it really matter when you’re engaged within the entertaining wraps of the film? You don’t overly notice or make a point of it because of the nature of Marry Me as a whole. Yes, there may be those cynical about it, not just because it’s a rom-com. But, it’s easily established early on and the central performances simply continue the likable trend throughout. Forming a chemistry that you can get behind and accept, much like the core base of the narrative itself.
Yes, there may be conventions and recognisable elements within Marry Me, but it’s nothing to be overly pointed out thanks to the highly likable nature of the film, thanks to the central relationship between Lopez and Wilson and the well-handled sprinklings of humour.