Release Date: February 11, 2022
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, John Bradley, Sarah Silverrman and Chloe Coleman
Director: Kat Coiro
Writers: John Rogers, Tami Sagher and Harper Dill
Synopsis: Music superstars Kat Valdez and Bastian are getting married before a global audience of fans. But when Kat learns, seconds before her vows, that Bastian had been unfaithful, she instead decides to marry Charlie, a stranger in the crowd.
This movie comes to us from the vision of Kat Coiro who has directed many things for tv and streaming and is also slated to direct the upcoming She Hulk series for Disney Plus. So let’s get into it and break this down a little. What are the pros to this 2022 RomCom? Well for one thing I think casting Owen Wilson opposite JLO was a strong choice for his every man’s man appeal and quirky subtle sense of humor. To be honest the chemistry between the two of them worked well for the most part. Especially the second half of the movie which was hands down better than the first half. But outside the chemistry between our two leads there isn’t much left for the audience to be entertained by in this self-indulgent glorified music video of a movie. The music is good, but did you expect less, it’s Jennifer Lopez.
The plot revolves around a broken-hearted Kat Valdez who doesn’t do anything spontaneous or exciting. Her life is driven by teams of people who tell her where to be when to be there and what to wear. Not even kidding a section of this movie details quite literally that she has no idea how to do anything at all, like open a door, she must break through a window. Or even use a blender without the forethought of putting on the lid. Which is silly in most movies Chevy Chases- Man of the house, but here it makes her look as though if left on her own she would be dead in a matter of days. Owen Wilson plays Charlie a math teacher and single father just trying to get through life, being constantly reminded that he lost all the joy in his life after his divorce. And if I had to critic this element I would say it is “FINE” the dialogue between them is enjoyable enough to be passable for viewing. The unfortunate part is everything else. The cinematography and the choices they made in regard to the look and feel were deliberate in possibly the worst way. Kat Coiro has spent most of her directorial catalog in the realm of television, and this is something that is evident in this film. It feels like it deserves to be seen on Oxygen or ABC. Quick cuts and many angles that look as though they are films from the perspective of cell phones. Unnecessary and overrated.
There are many themes that I think distract from the plot of this movie. That is the modern concepts of wokeness. There was much intentionality in diversity of cast and character, which I have no problem with just to be clear. But the underlying theme of this woman being held back in the music industry and struggling in a male dominated industry was so overbearing I couldn’t get around it. Our lead is so popular and prominent that she gets whatever she wants even to the point of some random man being willing too legally marry her on stage. She wants for nothing except a man who will be wholly devoted to her. Then add to that, this character is played by one of the most prominent and powerful female artists of my lifetime. So even if it was a struggle to get to the top because CEO’s don’t want you there, you are there. In a position to create change for the future.
So our desire too relate to this character doesn’t come from a very real place of being betrayed by those that we are supposed to trust but rather the “SYSTEM” and the “AGENDA” that is trying to hold you back from the things that you want. Even though I state again. You have everything you could ever want.
It’s time to ask the question. Do RomCom’s still work the way they did in 2001 (The Wedding Planner) or 2005 (Monster-in-Law). Back when all Matthew McConaughey had to do was take his shirt off as click bait in a trailer to get young people to flock to theaters. Let’s be honest, these movies were never intended to be something that was to have a lasting effect on their viewers. They were intended to have some semblance of relevancy to our lives. A dream. A love interest that doesn’t see you. And make you feel good as you walk out the theater thinking there is still a chance.
I would have to give MARRY ME a middling recommendation and a low expectation regarding return on investment. Even if that investment is simply your time. Or maybe just go back and watch Maid in Manhattan again.