Who knew that the year’s first major comic book movie would come in the form of a glitzy Hollywood rom-com starring J-Lo? ‘Marry Me’ is based on the beloved graphic novel by Bobby Crosby, with an adapted screenplay by Harper Dill, John Rogers and Tami Sagher that captures the magic of the book and translates it well onto the big screen. Director Kat Coiro, who cut her teeth working on great TV shows like Modern Family, Dead to Me and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (and who will be directing the upcoming She-Hulk TV series) delivers a fantastic feel-good romance just in time for Valentine’s Day, with assured leading turns from Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson.
The undisputed ‘Queen of the Hollywood Rom-Com’, Jennifer Lopez shines brightly once again, this time as Kat Valdez, a big-time singer who is planning to wed her attractive fiancé (and singing superstar) Bastian (Maluma) during a huge gig – all in front of millions of fans and the eager hounds of the world’s press. Their new song ‘Marry Me’ is a massive hit, and the two plan to sing this live before tying the knot. Plans are well underway, and the lavish nuptials on-stage promise to deliver one of the hottest showbiz weddings of all time.
Elsewhere, a single Dad and middle school maths teacher named Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) is trying his best to navigate the choppy waters of having a 12-year-old daughter (Chloe Coleman), who has also just started attending the same school as he teaches in. In a bid to look cool, Charlie reluctantly agrees to attend the Kat Valdez concert with his daughter when his colleague Parker (Sarah Silverman) has two spare tickets.
Just as Kat is about to go onstage to wed her beau, a breaking social media story reveals that Bastian has been having an affair with one of her assistants. Shamed and heartbroken, Kat delivers an impassioned speech onstage and decides to do something crazy and wed the first guy she locks eyes with. Charlie (holding his friend’s homemade banner which says ‘Marry Me’) is in shock but agrees to marry her, if just to help her out of an emotionally tricky situation. So they wed, with neither knowing anything about the other. What could possibly go wrong?
Jennifer Lopez can do this kind of role in her sleep, and it’s a testament to her professionalism that she never, ever phones in a performance in a rom-com. Her natural aura sparkles here, and she is the main reason ‘Marry Me’ is such an enjoyable watch. She can handle the drama and the comedy effortlessly, and we all know she can belt out a tune better than most, so she’s absolutely perfect for the role of Kat Valdez. Bouncing off her performance is the always-affable Owen Wilson who plays the genial everyman better than most. Their pairing is both sweet and genuinely funny, with plenty of chemistry to boot.
The supporting cast are all solid too. Singing superstar Maluma is perfectly cast as an international sex-symbol and performer, and he works very well alongside J-Lo. Games of Thrones alumni John Bradley is currently enjoying a Hollywood surge (he’s also in the sci-fi action blockbuster Moonfall), and delivers his role well as Kat’s kindly manager Collin who is always around to provide some emotional support. Sarah Silverman steals a lot of her scenes as Charlie’s colleague and friend, and young Chloe Coleman continues her impressive film run (after a great turn in Dave Batista’s under-appreciated family comedy My Spy) as Charlie’s daughter Lou.
It should go without saying that ‘Marry Me’ is a play-by-the-numbers romantic comedy, but one that does the basics exceptionally well. So cynics need not apply, there’s nothing for you here. If you go with the flow and enjoy this for what it is, there’s a lot of fun to be had with ‘Marry Me’. With a truly great soundtrack attached, featuring genuinely brilliant songs by both Jennifer Lopez and Maluma, and an ensemble who know exactly what they are doing, along with Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson leading the line and elevating this sweet tale above the norm, ‘Marry Me’ will certainly deliver a great Valentine’s night out at the movies.
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, Sarah Silverman, Chloe Coleman, John Bradley, Stephen Wallem, Michelle Buteau Director: Kat Coiro Writer: Bobby Crosby, Harper Dill, John Rogers, Tami Sagher Certificate: 12A Duration: 112 mins Released by: Universal Release date: 11th February 2022