Let me get this out there real quick: it wasn’t my choice to watch Marry Me. I do have a distaste for most romantic comedies as most of them as just trite and formulaic. I get the appeal as they’re extremely safe forms of entertainment and you’re supposed to go “awww” at the appropriate moments. The simple fact is that they just never enthralled me. It was my mother who wanted to watch Marry Me and, so, like the dutiful son, I went along and watched it with her. I guess she liked the trailer or something.
I was hoping that Marry Me would be the exception. I was praying it would be something on the level of something like Sleepless in Seattle, Forgetting Sarah Marshall or maybe even She’s All That, romantic comedies I actually did like. So, now that I did watch Marry Me, it’s time for me to actually give my thoughts on in.
Before we begin, however, I do have to mention this will be a SPOILER FREE review. A lot of good that’ll do since there really isn’t much to spoil because, if you watched other romantic comedies in the past, you essentially know all of the story beats of Marry Me. Still, just to be on the safe side, this review will be a generally SPOILER FREE review.
Marry Me focuses on superstar singer Kat Valdez who decides to hold her wedding with another singer during one of her concerts. Unfortunately, just before the marriage, a tabloid site breaks the news that her fiancee is cheating on her. Distraught, she spots math teacher and single dad Charlie Gilbert in the crowd holding a “Marry Me” sign. She calls Charlie up to the stage and they are married at that very moment. However, it turns out Charlie isn’t even really a fan of Kat’s music. He was just dragged to the concert by a friend. In order to prevent Kat from further humiliation and bad press, the two have to pretend to be together until the entire thing blows over.
Right off the bat, you do have to suspend your disbelief a whole lot as the situation, while creative, is utterly absurd. Once you do get over that hurdle, Marry Me follows most of the very common romantic comedy trappings we’re oh-so familiar with. Then again, when I did see the trailer, it wasn’t like I was expecting something else. The only thing I could really hope for is that Marry Me tries to be entertaining with the situations. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here as they all come off as very trite and boring.
One of the biggest problems I have with Marry Me is they never really utilize the situation to its fullest potential. You would think Charlie’s life would be turned upside down as he was married to one of the biggest musical performers in the world. But, aside from a couple of scenes of him being hounded by the paparazzi, his life isn’t really radically altered by it. You also never get the “fish out of water” situation with Kat trying to mull around in Charlie’s more mundane life. In fact, she seems to quickly adjust to it, no problem! You have this unbelievable setup just ripe for all kinds of situations but Marry Me never really does anything with it.
The performances are pretty okay. Jennifer Lopez played superstar singer Kat Valdez and, since that’s her normal life, she doesn’t really have to stretch her acting chops all that much for the most part. Owen Wilson’s Charlie Gilbert is a decent take on the simple everyman who gets thrust into this world of superstardom. Individually, they don’t really do much of anything. But when you get the two together, there is a certain charm and chemistry between Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. However, while they do have some cute scenes together, it never really felt romantic. And, as it’s a romantic comedy, that hurts the film a whole lot. The secondary characters, like Sarah Silverman’s friend to Owen Wilson’s character, are okay but feel so unnecessary as they don’t really do much in the grand scheme things.
Marry Me’s runtime is a respectable 112-minutes, just shy of two hours. However, a good chunk of the film’s runtime is dedicated to musical numbers. More specifically, they devote some time for Kat Valdez AKA Jennifer Lopez to sing and dance on stage. I wouldn’t mind this too much but these songs don’t add anything to the story and, to be frank, the songs aren’t all that great. I’m not knocking the singing (or the auto-tune) but the music just isn’t catchy. I’ll probably forget the songs in about a week or so.
While my review for this film has been mostly negative and you can already guess I didn’t like the movie, there is a redeeming factor that does lift Marry Me up slightly above the depths of being a truly abhorrent film. That factor is Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson’s relative chemistry together. While I never felt any romantic tension between them, the way they do interact with each other does come off as nice, albeit a little unbelievable.
Jennifer Lopez’s character never looks down on Owen Wilson’s character and Owen Wilson’s character is never starstruck by Jennifer Lopez’s character’s superstardom. As there isn’t any time either of them act awkwardly towards each other and they always behave in a friendly manner, I can suspend my level of disbelief long enough for me to believe these are just two nice people having a nice time in each other’s company. It would have been better if I could feel the budding romance between them but I’ll take what I can get.
Unfortunately, Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson’s chemistry isn’t enough to save this movie from coming off as your one-of-the-mill romantic comedies. It’s not terrible but not exactly memorable either. At the very least, it is watchable without being painful. That’s not exactly a glowing recommendation but there are definitely worse romantic comedies out there.
Have you seen Marry Me? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!