Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson headline Marry Me, a romantic comedy that takes us back to the golden days of the genre. This means, of course, that the premise is slightly ridiculous, the way the characters behave in response to the already far-fetched premise makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and yet, somehow, it all kinda works.
Yes, Marry Me is a delightful, entertaining good time, one with a soundtrack that will probably make you sing along — there’s at least one song you can pick up in 0.2 seconds — and two leads charming enough to make you forget about the ludicrous premise.
It all starts with Jennifer Lopez’s Kat Valdez and Maluma’s Bastian. They’re engaged to be married, and as befits two big music stars, they’re going to do it in style. Which means in the middle of a concert, as they debut their new song, “Marry Me.” Except Bastian is as much of an ass as his name makes him out to be, and Kat finds out he’s been cheating on her just as she’s about to take the stage.
To sing their song. And get married.
A normal person would probably just hide after that. Forever, even. Not to say the total breakdown in front of a packed crowd of strangers isn’t understandable. Kat didn’t really have time to process. We’re all entitled some time to grieve the end of a relationship, particularly when it comes in such a traumatic fashion. I wouldn’t recommend anyone process by marrying a complete stranger, but then again, I am not Kat Valdez and my life is clearly not a rom-com.
Common sense dictates a wedding like that wouldn’t even be valid. But this is a rom-com, and some suspension of disbelief is needed. Which is how we end up with Kat and Charlie married, and trying to figure out what that means.
Nothing I say can make the premise any less preposterous, but Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson do a lot to make Kat and Charlie inherently believable as two people who are acting like no one we know ever would. The chemistry between them isn’t what I’d call sizzling, but it’s believable in a soft, understated kind of way that builds and builds throughout the movie.
But the best part of Marry Me isn’t the romance, though that’s enough to make you invest, or even the music, though I’ve been blasting “On My Way” nonstop since I first watched this movie, it’s Kat’s growth. The movie starts with a woman who looks to be in control, but who is actually letting other people dictate her life and ends with Kat making her own decisions, for herself.
Plus, there’s an adorable dog, an adorable kid, and an adorable best friend, which is how you know this is a rom-com worth its title. And though neither the dog, the kid, or the best friend really manages to steal the spotlight away from Kat and Charlie, they do a really good job of supporting not just their romantic journey together, but the journey of self-discovery they both have to go on to find themselves at a place where they can, hopefully, starting moving forward together.
Ultimately, Marry Me is a more or less predictable, cheesy romantic comedy that works despite its silly premise because it stands on the shoulders of two actors who know what a romantic comedy should be, and what audiences want to see in one. Nothing more, nothing less. Whether that’s enough might just depend on your expectations. But, if you’re looking to be transported back to the good old days when the rom-com reigned supreme, then this might just be the movie for you.
Are you excited for Marry Me? Will you be heading to the movie theater to watch it? Will you be streaming on Peacock? Share with us in the comments below!
Marry Me is now in theaters and on Peacock.