With Valentine’s Day arriving on Monday, so comes the perfect time to release a romantic comedy in theaters (or streaming). Marry Me is one of two notable releases this weekend and certainly has the biggest appeal, thanks to its two leads Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. The concept for this film had potential with the right pieces surrounding the talent on screen. However, it’s unfortunate that the film’s weak script does nothing for its noticeable stars. What may appear as delicious wedding cake on the outside is nothing more than a stale offering for the genre.
Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) is a pop star singer prepared to marry her on-stage partner, Bastian (Maluma) at a concert. And leading up to the marriage concert, Kat and Bastian have a new hit single that bears the same name as the title of the film; it’s the talk of the world. But then moments before they exchange vows on stage, Kat finds out that Bastian is having an affair. But instead of storming offstage, Kat looks out into the crowd and points to Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), a divorced math teacher who is temporarily holding a “Marry Me!” sign for a colleague from his school, Parker Debbs (Sarah Silverman). From there, Kat and Charlie get married on stage and go through the motions of the marriage for publicity – at least from the start.
It’s safe to say you likely can guess how the story plays out from here. And that’s not a diss on the film or genre, as there are multiple genres with stories or concepts where you know what’s likely to happen. That’s especially true with romantic comedies, and yet you know that going in, so you stick around to watch and hopefully enjoy the film. While there are a handful of sweet and funny moments, most of the film is full of clichés, with little to benefit the multi-talented Jennifer Lopez and always charismatic Owen Wilson. But credit to Lopez and Wilson for not merely phoning it in to collect a paycheck, as they, along with John Bradley (Game of Thrones) as Kat’s manager, Collin Calloway, try their best to make this film work. It’s just unfortunate that they couldn’t get more out of a script with three writers credited for it.
It’s easy to see why this film has been sitting in the can for a while other than the pandemic causing at least one delay. It’s also easy to see why the film is also available to stream on Peacock the same day as it will be available in theaters. Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson are two of the most respected talents around Hollywood, with each taking different paths toward their success and fame. But Marry Me is a mismatch for them, just like their characters initially were in the film’s first act.