Jennifer Lopez is back on the big screen! This time around with something a little less haram than her last major acting role. For those not in the know, the film “Hustlers” was banned for a theatrical release in Malaysia due to some very interesting scenes involving exotic dancers (don’t worry, you can now catch it on Netflix).
While she’s certainly made her name for herself in the music industry, her track record as an actor has not exactly been the best. Especially when it comes to romantic comedies like “Second Act” and “The Back-up Plan”. Don’t even get us started with the time she played a high-school teacher who got into an affair with a student in “The Boy Next Door”. The thriller film was horrifying…for all the wrong reasons.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, she’s making a comeback with the upcoming romantic-comedy film “Marry Me”. A film that seems to be based around a fictionalised version of the pop-star falling in love with an ordinary schmuck played by actor Owen “Wow” Wilson. So will Lopez and Wilson’s combined star power be a match made in heaven? Let’s find out!
Similarly to Addison Rae’s “He’s All That”, “Marry Me” follows the story of a famous celebrity, Kat Valdez, choosing some random guy to make him her beau in an effort to get back on top. Albeit, the budget for this film is much higher than the TikTok star’s Netflix film. This is JLo we’re talking about here afterall. Owen Wilson’s Charlie Gilbert is a nerdy, single father math teacher who just so happened to be there when Kat decides to marry him after realising her future fiance had cheated on her. Cue the cutesy relational mismatches before the romantic adjustment period, followed by personal conflict involving the couple reconciling their two worlds. Finally, we end with some sort of heartfelt speech and a healthy compromise between the two.
The big subversive angle that “Marry Me” tries to constantly sell you on is how Jennifer Lopez’s Kat is the free-spirited initiator to the relationship between her and Charlie. A role that’s typically reserved for men. Which is fine but when you stop to consider how she essentially bullied him into marrying her for the sake of publicity, you can’t help but feel your skin crawl. Imagine if a famous male rapper did the exact same thing to some poor random lady. She’d be utterly humiliated, and most likely harassed, if she said no. Needless to say, the basis in which their relationship is formed is deeply problematic and unsettling.
In spite of this issue, the film does have some really endearing scenes between Kat and Charlie. They open up to each other about their past, go on fun little trips together and even teach a class to dance. It’s all very cheesy and wholesome, made to appeal to the audience’s idea of authentic love. That being said, we couldn’t help but notice that “Marry Me”, much like “He’s All That”, seems to go to great lengths to prop up Jennifer Lopez’s talent as a singer and performer. All thinly disguised by the rather transparent analog of Kat Valdez. No matter how big a fan you are of the Latin singer, at some point you will winge at the level of pandering the film stoops to.
In fact, there are moments in which the plot beats of the film seem more concerned with trying to cram in another soundtrack by Lopez than to properly develop the characters’ relationship. Unfortunately, this all leads to a very emotionally, muddled climax involving a conflict that seems to have arrived out of nowhere. If you’re willing to overlook some of the more glaring plot issues of “Marry Me”, there’s still some fun to be had here.
Make no mistake, the dialogue in this film is utter garbage. It calls for the actors to recite some of the most brain-dead, inane lines we have heard in a long time. The writers very well could have been scrolling through Instagram looking for inspirational quotes while penning the script. If you take a shot every time you hear Jennifer Lopez’s Kat awkwardly spouts a cliche about life and love, you would have probably died of alcohol poisoning by the time the credits rolled. As for her performance itself, Lopez isn’t terrible in any way. A tad melodramatic at times but overall, she’s proven that she’s capable of carrying a lead role in films.
It certainly helps that she has Owen Wilson’s comedic chops to bounce off. The two do make for an odd but adorable pair with Wilson’s Charlie acting as the timid voice of reason to Kat’s wild, spontaneous energy. One particular scene involving the two attending a high school dance together was admittedly pretty heartwarming. Singer Maluma as Charlie’s romantic foil, Bastian was by far the most one-dimensional character out of the lot. His only purpose is to create some artificial love triangle between Kat and Charlie. Which, of course, ends exactly how you’d expect it to.
Earlier, we mentioned how “Marry Me” acted as a thinly veiled promo for Lopez’s new singles. While we totally stick by that statement, we would be lying if we didn’t say that our girl does have some bangers on here. “Love of My Life” has a bubbly infectious rhythm that echoes in your ear while “On My Way” delivers with some soaring vocals that does more to connote Kat’s grief that anything the screenwriters came up with. Expect to see these tracks blowing up the Spotify charts this February, or at least until Valentine’s Day passes.
The purpose of “Marry Me” is to push Jennifer Lopez’s singles and feed holiday-themed ticket sales. Once you’ve made peace with that fact, it becomes easier to enjoy “Marry Me” for what it is: a cheesy rom-com that does just enough to justify a date-night at the cinema. While the leads do a decent job at selling you the time-tested odd couple fantasy, it’s the music that stick with you. The story is simply a vehicle.
For all you lovers out there, you can catch “Marry Me” when it hits theaters on the 10th February!
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Marry Me Review
The purpose of "Marry Me" is to push Jennifer Lopez's singles and feed holiday-themed ticket sales. Once you've made peace with that fact, it becomes easier to enjoy "Marry Me" for what it is: a cheesy rom-com that does just enough to justify a date-night at the cinema. While the leads do a decent job at selling you the time-tested odd couple fantasy, it's the music that stick with you. The story is simply a vehicle.
- Marry Me Review