Marry Me

Review of Jennifer Lopez’s entertaining romcom-musical, ‘Marry Me’ ME’

February 18, 2022 Mario Bautista 325 views

WE’VE always liked Jennifer Lopez ever since we first saw her with George Clooney in the acclaimed Steve Soderbergh film, “Out of Sight”, where she played U.S. Marshall Karen Sisco. We also enjoyed her performances in the romcoms “The Wedding Planner” with Matthew McConaughey, “Maid in Manhattan: with Ralph Fiennes and also in “Shall We Dance” with Richard Gere.

We last saw her in “Hustlers” where she was very good as a stripper who cons wealthy men. And now, she’s back in an endearing romcom, “Marry Me”, where is paired with Owen Wilson. They first got to work in “Anaconda” in 1997 where Owen was eaten by the giant snake.

“Marry Me” will remind you of an old-fashioned romcom with its fairy tale romance about a Latina pop superstar who falls in love with an ordinary math teacher. Reminds you of “Notting Hill”, right? But this one is based on a comic novel by Bobby Crosby that came out in 2012.

JLo plays Kat Valdez (anak ni Luz, sister ni Eula at Kate, to inject a Filipino showbiz joke), who has had failed marriages but now has a new fiance, Bastian (played by Colombian singer named Maluma and this is his first movie). Their song, “Marry Me”, becomes a worldwide hit and they decide to exchange their wedding vows live in front of an audience of about 20 million during their latest concert.

Owen plays Charlie, an unassuming math teacher who’s divorced. Hollywood movies are now full of interracial romances and we see that his former wife is black and their daughter, Lou , who lives with Charlie, is also black.

His co-teacher and gay best friend, Parker (Sarah Silverman), convinces Charlie and Lou to attend the concert cum wedding of Kat and Bastian with her. Just before the wedding takes place on stage, someone shows Kat a video of Bastian cheating on her with her own assistant, Tyra, which expectedly breaks her heart.

While on stage, she sees a random stranger in the crowd, Charlie, who’s carrying the sign of her song “Marry Me”. She asks Charlie to come up on stage and shocks everyone when, on impulse, she asks him to marry her. He plays along and a pastor is on hand to perform the wedding. With the people hooting and shrieking, they quickly become husband and wife.

Bastian tries to explain his side to her but she won’t listen to him at all. The media is all agog about Kat’s meltdown. Kat decides to play along, takes a leap of faith and asks Charlie that they stay married for a while, at least until all the frenzy dies down. Well, you already know how this kind of story will develop.

Kat gets to meet Lou and also the students of Charlie and immediately endears herself to them. Kat and Charlie both get more fond of each other, even if Charlie is not used to a cameraman following them around for Kat’s vlog. But just when they’re getting real cozy, Bastian re-enters Kat’s life and Charlie says he’s willing to give way to whatever will make Kat happy.

In this era of gadgets, social media and instant gratification of likes and shares, there’s something old world in the charming simplicity of the movie. Director Kat Coiro (“She Hulk” TV show) knows viewers can easily predict how the story will end so she banks mainly on the winning charms of her stars who both give heartwarming performances that carry the movie all the way.

Jennifer Lopez might be 52 years old but she’s very well preserved and still charismatic, drop dead ravishing. She gives a vulnerable yet endearing portrayal of Kat that makes us root for her. Owen Wilson complements her perfectly with cool and easy going performance as the divorced dad who gets embroiled with a pop star and the authenticity of their relationship is developed credibly.

Maluma does well in his song numbers but he’s not given much in the acting department. He registers well as a heavily tattooed Latino hunk and sana nga, hindi siya maluma agad.

All in all, you can say the films doesn’t reinvent the wheel and you’ve seen the story before, but they’ve given it a new dressing and comes out full of positive vibes and very refreshing. Even the musical numbers are good.

“Marry Me” appears to us as some sort of homage to the romcom genre that has taken a beating from all sorts of superhero films in recent years. We’re sure perennial optimists and hopeless romantics who want to take a chance on love will enjoy watching it, but the surly sourpusses and ill-tempered curmudgeons will no doubt complain.

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