Wedding Planner

‘Marry Me’ Review: Jennifer Lopez’s Latest Romantic Comedy

It’s hard to imagine, but Marry me throws Jennifer Lopez against type. Made in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner, Monster-in-Law, What to expect when you’re pregnant, the backup plan, second act— in these rom-coms, Lopez portrays all working-class women largely divorced from her image as one of the world’s most glamorous pop idols. However, Marry me (now playing in theaters and available on Peacock) opens with Lopez in a rehearsal studio, practicing choreography for the film’s catchy titular song. She plays Kat Valdez, who is, well, one of the most glamorous pop idols around.

But don’t be fooled by the rocks it has. In traditional J.Lo-rom-com fashion, Kat is as unlucky in love as the rest. As Hoda Kotb announces in a Today show segment that sets up the film’s conceit, Kat and “hot, hot, hot Bastian” – another musical sex symbol played by Maluma – plan to exchange vows onstage during a live-streamed concert the following night. It won’t be Kat’s first wedding, nor her next: Seconds before stepping onto a riser in a massive designer wedding dress sparkling with 10,000 hand-beaded crystals, Kat finds out via TMZ that Bastian cheated on her with his assistant. While talking about her distress, Kat peers into the crowd, spots a man casually holding his friend’s “marry me” sign, and says yes.

What more could one expect from today’s high priestess of romantic comedy, someone who seems pathologically wedded to the genre’s most absurd tendencies? In The backup planLopez desperately wants to be a mother and, after finding out her IVF treatment has produced twins, agrees to raise them with a cheese maker (Alex O’Loughlin) she just met. second act finds Lopez fabricating her entire resume and landing a job as a product developer at a cosmetics conglomerate, only to find out – spoiler alert – that her co-worker (Venessa Hudgens) is the girl she dumped at adolescence. in misfortune Gigli, she’s an arrogant lesbian hired to oversee a low-rent mobster (Ben Affleck) who kidnaps the mentally disabled brother of an American lawyer as part of a ransom scheme.

Marry me would make a strong case for the No. 1 spot on a list of J.Lo rom-coms ranked by how ridiculous they are — not just because the premise is crazy, but because the man it pulls out of the audience is a professor. mathematics played by Owen Wilson, arguably the least Lopezian match to date, on or off screen. And Also because it all kind of doubles as a mirror onto Lopez herself. After a night’s rest, Kat is determined to “get out in front of this”, deciding that she will stick with this math teacher for now in order to “change the narrative”. She will no longer be seen as an impetuous and amorous divorcee. Here is Image Creation 101, a syllabus that Lopez could write herself; just look at his current tabloid (and New York Times-friendly) flirting with Affleck, whose reappearance in her life put a quick end to most of Alex Rodriguez’s breakup gossip.

During a recent CBS Matinees interview, Gayle King asked Lopez if she was a hopeless romantic. “A hopefull romantic,” she replied, which is exactly what Kat Valdez would say. Luckily for Kat, her romance turns from hope to reality. While acting out a fake relationship, she falls for this math teacher, who is also an extremely considerate single dad with a G-rated swing set in his apartment and a sleeping bulldog named Romeo. “It’s not about fame, it’s about credibility,” Kat tells the harmless owner of the swing set as they get to know each other. “It didn’t matter how well I had done; they never gave it to me. You know I’ve never been nominated for anything? This, of course, is exactly what Jennifer Lopez, who is no critical darling, would say, especially after missing out on the Oscar nod she deserved for 2019. Hustlers.

As their bond deepens, Kat and her humble mathlete challenge each other to switch roles: she will exist without attracting the attention of the internet or receiving help from her many attendants, and he will drop his resistance. to social media to shoot TikTok dances. It’s a ruse Lopez herself probably wouldn’t undertake, but it doesn’t matter because she’s the kind of traditional paparazzi magnet for whom a personalized Instagram account will always be inferior to the well-calculated IRL photos that project authenticity. The unfortunate thing about Marry me, like most J.Lo rom-coms, is that its cutesy tricks don’t yield many actual laughs. If any of them did, their unwavering silence might not be so strong. (This one is made by Girls5evaby Kat Coiro and written by The Mindy Projectby Harper Dill and catwomanis John Rogers.)

Then again, isn’t that the silliness we expect from most romantic comedies? Sure, it would be nice to recapture the heyday of Howard Hawks or Nora Ephron, whose wordy sensibility brought sophistication to an inherently whimsical genre. But without many filmmakers reprising their roles, one has to admire Lopez’s commitment to such insane, confusing, and delightful storylines. Come June, we’ll find out what shotgun wedding, in which Lopez and Josh Duhamel interrupt their destination nuptials to save their families from criminal hijackers, has in store. If all goes well, it will be as insanely stupid as Marry me.