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Marry Me


‘…makes something turgid of the whole notion of romancing a famous persona under a media spotlight…’

‘I’ve never been nominated for anything,’ moans Jennifer Lopez’s character in Marry Me, a movie in which she plays Kat Valdez, a popular singer with a string of marriages behind her. It’s not a massive stretch for Lopez; the role has clearly been created to suit her on-going public persona, but her work is unlikely to trouble the Academy. Fortunately, there’s a number of other elements to play with here, notably matching her with her co-star from the modern classic that is Anaconda, Owen Wilson, and an inevitable dash of literary pretention in two discussions of the work of poet John Keats.

Based on a graphic novel, Marry Me is as contrived as any rom-com to date; try and follow this scenario. Valdez is live-streaming her own on-stage wedding to fellow singer and obvious bad egg Bastain (singer Maluma), but he’s been seeing other girls, information that breaks to Valdez while she’s in mid costume change before the vows. Tearful and emotional, she decides that since many of the crowd are carrying placards that say Marry Me, the title of her new song, she’ll instead marry the first man she randomly picks out of the crowd. That man happens to be single dad Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) who isn’t a fan of Valdez but has been persuaded to attend to please his twelve year old daughter, who fears her dad isn’t any fun anymore. Gilbert accepts Valdez’ spontaneous proposal, but while the twitterati go mental on their Ista-tiktoks, Valdez’ management decide to lean into her moment of madness, and hype the couple as an item. Yet in the process, fate provides an obvious twist as the faux-lovers begin to fall in love for real…

For reasons too personal to go into on a public forum, I’ve decided to watch pretty much everything Lopez does cinematically, but Marry Me tested that resolve to the max and beyond. With nine Lopez songs included in the luxury package, it’s a tuneful showcase for a star with plenty, but there’s not much elegance in the artifice here; the harder Kat Coiro’s film tries to establish that our heroine is just ordinary Jenny from the Block, the more she looks wildly out of touch. An intimate scene in which she retires wounded to her boudoir to avidly watch a talk-show host on tv making fun of her romantic life doesn’t reflect much in terms of her inner monologue other than that she likes being the centre of attention. Wilson muddles through as a good-hearted maths teacher, but comic relief is anything but, coming from Moonfall’s John Bradley, easily 2022’s least valuable player so far,.

A Star Is Born’s 2018 remake made this kind of showbiz romance look easy, yet Marry Me makes something turgid of the whole notion of romancing a famous persona under a media spotlight. This isn’t Notting Hill, or indeed any film in which human beings behave normally; the scenes in which Valdez appears to throw off her trappings of success to discover her inner self makes zero sense, and only emphasise how cosseted and removed she is from any kind of reality. Marry Me is slick, high gloss entertainment, but it’s a dead end for performers and audience alike; Lopez is a genuine star, but she’s been poorly advised if this self-regarding film is the result.


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  1. I’ve never been much of a fan of J-Lo’s rom-coms–started when she married the wrong guy in The Wedding Planner! There is one I like, the title is escaping me. She works in a grocery store, I think, and then gets a big corporate job. But the rest of them mostly leave me cold, and this trailer was not enticing. But she was excellent in Hustlers.

    I know I’m beating the same drum here, but you must disclose more about your love for JLo. No shame in that game!

  2. You would have to be a really big fan of Lopez for this. It could be a musical, the amount of singing she does. I can see the concept would work for a generation brought up on reality television where people marry strangers all the time but it works too hard making a picture that includes importance of social media. It’s just about passable by the time you get to the end but nowhere near as good as Notting Hill to which it comes closest in theme.

  3. I thought Alex had problems with his Chan movies, but this obsession of yours with Lopez makes me worried. And I think Dr Fraggle is right, this needs some serious discussion.


  4. I wouldn’t watch it even if it was good, rom coms are at the bottom of my pit-list, even below horrors. So, a J-Lo obsession? This should be discussed over the ironing board I think!

  5. Looked awful the few pitying glances I first gave due to my overly empathetic nature, and despite reading some shockingly sanguine reviews – couldn’t tell you who, it’s all repressed by now – the 2nd best holy grail for film criticism has come through.

    “but while the twitterati go mental on their Ista-tiktoks” 🤣 what? give me a breath…

    And what’s with your perverse obsession with Jennifer Lopez that’s too lurid for the public eye?

  6. Hell to the nope. Even to the music.

    “The role has clearly been created to suit her on-going public persona.” So another example of a movie that is actually just an exercise in star branding? So much nope.

    • And a movie that’s supposed to enhance that brand, but ends up doing the opposite…as a dedicated JLo fan, it’s left me with deep, difficult questions to answe…

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