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The Hollywood Insider Marry Me Review, Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, Jlo

Photo: ‘Marry Me’

Once upon a time, romantic comedy dominated the film industry. The 80s brought us ‘When Harry Met Sally’, we got ‘He’s All That’ in the 90s, and ‘13 Going on 30’ in the 2000s. Rom-coms are easy to love, we’re meant to be immediately emotionally invested in the characters and root for them to get together. The formula was simple but still left us with stories we love as new characters and situations livened up basic patterns. In recent years, rom-coms suffered from the rise of action, world-building, and art films, leading Hollywood to make less and less light-hearted romantic comedies in favor of other genres. 

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Marry Me’ brings the classic rom-com formula back- An unlikely couple, a unique situation, and twists and turns that lead to an eventual happy ending. The premise is updated for 2022, Jennifer Lopez plays Kat Valdez, a global pop sensation, meaning social media presence and news outlets play a major role in the plot. Owen Wilson plays Charlie Gilbert, Kat’s unlikely husband. 

‘Marry Me’ Full Commentary & BTS

Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, Jimmy Fallon

Following the Formula

When the news breaks that Kat Valdez’s fiance is cheating on her right before her public wedding, she spots Charlie Gilbert in the crowd holding a “Marry me?” sign. So, she does. The film follows the couple as they navigate being married strangers in the public eye and fall in love along the way. ‘Marry Me’ follows the recipe of a classic rom-com, each ingredient is there. Our leading couple, Kat and Charlie, do not belong together in the typical sense. Kat is a pop star, a seasoned celebrity. Charlie, on the other hand, is anything but. He’s a father, a teacher, and an all-around regular guy. Nobody would expect these two to be together but undeniable chemistry and unlikely circumstances bring them together. 

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‘Marry Me’ is everything you’d expect a rom-com to be – romantic and funny. There’s a reason there’s such a distinct formula for making rom-coms, it works. It’s hard to make a movie with two likable love interests, a band of quirky side characters, and a unique situation that doesn’t get an audience hooked. The characters are easy to root for and immediately compelling and the added level of stardom and fame elevates the story to be more interesting than just a simple love story. 

Behind the Scenes

‘Marry Me’ – Filling the Rom-Com Roles 

One of the most important parts of a rom-com is the side characters. These characters are typically where we get most of our comedy and we need them to aid our leads along the way. These characters were probably the best part of ‘Marry Me’, adding humor and life to the leads outside of their relationship. On Charlie’s side, we had Sarah Silverman as Parker, Charlie’s coworker, and best friend. As an ‘SNL’ alum, it’s no surprise that Silverman brought comedy, sarcasm, and life to the character, which was needed to balance out Charlie’s overwhelming averageness. There was also added depth to Charlie in the form of his daughter, played by Chloe Coleman

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On Kat’s side, we have her team, including Michelle Bateau as Melissa and John Bradley as Collin. Melissa is social media obsessed, constantly live streaming or otherwise updating the world on Kat and Charlie’s budding relationship. Her character and Bateau’s performance are fresh to 2022, adding a modern twist on the traditional rom-com. Melissa is balanced out by Collin, who, as Kat’s manager, is much more worried about public image than Twitter updates. 

Success through Star Power

The majority of the press surrounding the film’s release surrounded the big-name leads. When a film stars JLo and Owen Wilson it’s going to be talked about, regardless of plot. Owen Wilson is a romantic comedy veteran, starring in films including ‘Wedding Crashers’ and ‘Meet the Parents’. His portrayal of Charlie worked due to how normal he was. Charlie was an average guy and Wilson nailed the mundane aspects of the character. Before his unlikely wedding, all Charlie had on his mind was his daughter and his math team, not fame and stardom. 

Charlie’s averageness was needed to balance out JLo’s portrayal of Kat, an over-the-top A-lister. Jennifer Lopez is, of course, known not just for her acting but as a pop superstar, so she flourished playing a role that combined the two. We got to see JLo perform the film’s original music and shine on stage in front of massive crowds. She was the perfect fit to play a global sensation, who better to play a pop superstar than another pop superstar? 

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The Good and the Bad of Basic Rom-Coms 

Romantic comedies are successful because the blueprint works to create entertaining and engaging films, and ‘Marry Me’ was no exception. The characters were likable and sympathetic, the situation was interesting and compelling, and the comedy was constant throughout. But ‘Marry Me’ was not tied down to a basic format. The film was able to weave in modern elements to the kind of story that has been around for decades. The role social media played in the film was fresh and interesting and celebrity cameos, such as Jimmy Fallon on the in-universe ‘Tonight Show’ added a modern twist for 2022. 

The weak point, along with many rom-coms, comes from the surface-level feel of the story. I found myself wishing it would dig deeper into the characters’ lives and the development of their relationships but it did not deliver. Some lines seemed cheesy, the characters were almost caricatures and the premise is so outlandish that it took me a while to accept it. However, if you take the film for what it is, a ludicrous but compelling storyline with a lot of heart, it gets the job done. 

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In Summary 

‘Marry Me’ is not the most intelligent, ground-breaking, or experimental film out there, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. If you’re looking for an easy watch, an interesting premise of lighthearted comedy then ‘Marry Me’ is a great pick. The cast shines in their unique roles that all come together to create a rom-com suited for 2022. 

‘Marry Me’ is currently playing in theaters and on Peacock. 

Cast & Crew 

Cast: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Maluma

Writers: John Rogers, Tami Sagher, Harper Dill  Director: Kat Coiro 

By Lara Glennon

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.

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