Marry Me

⭐⭐⭐ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: A fun, stupid, romp of a rom-com – and good lord J-Lo remains a powerhouse.


Romantic Comedies


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

In her mid-50s Jennifer Lopez sounds, moves, acts, and looks utterly incredible and, frankly, if all this movie had been was a rough rom-com wrapped around an excuse to let her shine, it would still have been pretty fun. And don't get me wrong, broadly speaking that's exactly what Marry Me is: an excuse for J-Lo to basically play a romanticised, slightly caricatured version of herself. (Indeed, having read up about her personal history after the film, it seems a good chunk of the relationship back story was also lifted from her IRL experiences, which must have either been rough or cathartic.)

But the rom-com plot that is wrapped around that has a surprising amount of depth. It's still not a deep movie: man meets woman in ridiculous circumstance; they come from two completely opposite worlds but are both ultimately good people; and they predictably fall for one another, briefly get sidetracked by their utterly incompatible lives, and then realise that love is more important etc. etc. Throw in a cute kid that can talk "truth to power" and cut through the "adult bullshit", add a sassy best friend for some comic relief, an ex to stir up jealousy and tension, and you're done. It's definitely read the rom-com playbook and rarely steps outside of it.

And yet, the conclusion here could have been as simple as "love wins" or "love knows no boundaries" and that would have been fine, but instead we get some genuine character development for J-Lo and a slightly more frank look at the impracticalities of dating a famous person. They show you a bit more of the murky side of celebrity and that creates some mildly more nuanced characters. Plus, they also don't force anyone to be saved: J-Lo comes to her own conclusions based on honest conversations with those around her; Owen Wilson's character works through his own mental blocks on romance organically; and even when the kid chokes on stage, it's her dad and her own training that helps her overcome those fears (even if they don't ultimately win). They could have had J-Lo swoop in like a white knight, dancing away, and proving that this family needs her, but instead they sideline her and her big moment. It's much more realistic and feels more rewarding (and surprisingly realistic) for it.

So no, Marry Me won't be winning any awards – unless any of the excellent pop songs that were clearly released off the back of the film do particularly well, but that's a different thing 😉 – nor will it become a classic of the genre, but it's a fun film and a solid attempt that delivers more than you would guess, based on the mildly ridiculous premise.

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