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Review: ‘Marry Me’ is a Fun and Likeable Throwback to ‘90s-Era Romantic Comedies

February 10, 2022Ben MK

With movies like Second Act, The Wedding Planner and Maid in Manhattan to her credit, Jennifer Lopez is no stranger to romantic comedies. Despite her filmography, however, it's hard to ignore the fact that her Hollywood career has often been overshadowed by her chart-topping musical successes. Now, with Marry Me, the Grammy-winning singer and actress is combining both her passions into one single project. But with a premise that feels like an outdated throwback to '90s-era fairy tale romances, does this tale of mismatched love have what it takes to capture the hearts of audiences?

Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the film stars Lopez as Kat Valdez, a world-famous pop star with 80 million followers on social media who appears to have everything. However, when it comes to love, Kat hasn't found herself nearly as lucky. A divorcee three times over who has never given up on the idea of finding that special someone, Kat is about to take the leap one more time with fellow music artist Bastian (Maluma), and she's planning on doing it in spectacular fashion — on the concert stage, in front of hundreds of thousands of her adoring fans. Unfortunately, when Bastian's indiscretions with her personal assistant go viral, the situation throws Kat into emotional turmoil. Forced to make a split-second decision as the entire world watches, Kat decides to do something different — she decides to pluck a complete stranger out of the audience and marry him instead.

Enter middle school math teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), a divorced dad with a 12-year-old daughter named Lou (Chloe Coleman) and a pet bulldog named Tank, who finds himself at Kat's concert that night purely by happenstance. An ordinary guy through and through, Charlie is the last person anyone would expect to see getting cozy with a celebrity. So when Kat hand-picks him to come up on stage and become her husband, Charlie is utterly caught off guard. Suddenly thrust into the spotlight, Charlie must now figure out how to navigate his new life as a paparazzi magnet, where even something as innocent as taking Tank for a walk can become fodder for tabloid Instagram feeds. But while everyone else might think their relationship is nothing but a publicity stunt, can he and Kat manage to find something grounded and genuine amid the whirlwind of craziness?

Directed by Kat Coiro, what follows is essentially Notting Hill for a new generation, with Lopez and Wilson successfully evoking a delightfully awkward chemistry, while their characters slowly grow fonder and fonder of one another. Of course, as per the typical rom-com formula, Bastian eventually makes his obligatory reappearance in Kat's life, throwing the future of her relationship with Charlie into question. However, if you think that would stop the screenwriting team of Harper Dill, John Rogers and Tami Sagher from giving the movie its well-deserved happy ending, you had better think again. After all, what's a decent love story without a few complications?

It all adds up to an enjoyable romp that isn't shy about wearing its heart on its sleeve. And with new music from Lopez plus funny supporting turns from Sarah Silverman and Game of Thrones' John Bradley, the result is sure to please. Suffice to say, Marry Me may not be the perfect film; however, it may just be the perfect date night flick, especially for those looking to generate a little heat on a cold and chilly Valentine's Day weekend.

Marry Me releases February 11th, 2022 from Universal Pictures. The film has an MPAA rating of PG-13 for some language and suggestive material. Its runtime is 1 hr. 52 min.

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