I’ll be the first to admit that the genre of romantic comedy is certainly not my go-to for cinematic entertainment. I do however love one when done right. I’m a bit of a romantic, so I have a soft spot for a good love story, and even when the cheesiness ramps up a bit, I can still certainly enjoy the ride. That was my best-case scenario when sitting down for “Marry Me”. Jennifer Lopez seems a little past these childish rom coms, but she’s charismatic and Owen Wilson, despite not seeming like the best fit, can always provide a capable performance.
Opposites often attract in love, so that was my hope for Lopez and Wilson in this one. No one expected Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner to steal our hearts in the 90’s, but they did. Sadly, this movie was not so much a romantic comedy as much as it was a Jennifer Lopez showcase reel. Instead of a narrative with any authenticity that adults can wrap their head around, this run-time is built like a two-hour music video, with more music montages than “Rocky IV”.
Essentially everything about this movie feels processed and unauthentic. Even Owen Wilson routinely appears baffled by his presence in this movie. He and Lopez lack any real chemistry and with a love story that’s already so sappy, a couple at the center that seem to fizzle in each scene gives you little to care about. There’s nothing to really engage with outside of the musical performances from Lopez that are shoehorned in at each opportune moment. So, where the movie fails, if tickets to her Vegas residency were out of your budget, “Marry Me” feels like it delivers a solid sample of the events.
Unlike “Notting Hill”, (which this movie sort of follows like an unofficial remake) Wilson and Lopez are unable to capture the natural passion for one another that Roberts and Grant did to effectively sell the ‘everyman falls for starlet’ plot. Thus, it doesn’t hit the heartstrings, the emotional cues come off as more comical than endearing, and the entire progression plays out as contrived as the genre can get. It flows through the recycled plot-points and works through the script, but it never gets at the core of the characters, nor does it develop genuine human emotion to assist in creating empathy for the characters journey to love.
Something that proves to be a deal breaker when the run-time extends close to two-hours, while exhibiting zero self-awareness. “Marry Me” felt like it was more intent on musical numbers and promoting new music from Lopez than it was on telling a story with sincerity and creative ambition. In the end it felt flat despite an obscene amount of studio polish and when it all comes down to it, Lopez, and Wilson despite not being so great together in this film could have done better, if the love story given to them didn’t feel like it came from the middle-school playgrounds.
Anthony J. Digioia II © 2022 SilverScreen Analysis. All Rights Reserved.