‘Marry Me’ Review: Feel Free to Reject This Proposal

Owen Wilson doesn’t say “wow” even once this entire film; I feel that shouldn’t be legal.

“Marry Me” stars Jennifer Lopez as an international popstar who, following a public breakup on the day of her wedding, marries a complete stranger (Owen Wilson) and must now get to know her new husband. Maluma, John Bradley, Chloe Coleman, and Sarah Silverman also star while Kat Coiro directs.

Goes without saying I’m not the target demo for a film like this, though a good rom-com can sometimes be my guilty pleasure (I always love hyping up “Music & Lyrics” and “Sleeping with Other People”). At one time the queen of the genre, Jennifer Lopez paired with an always likable Owen Wilson seems like it would be a winning combination, but stale direction and a basic script hold this film from warranting true commitment.

The last time we saw J-Lo she was getting snubbed for an Oscar nomination for her supporting turn in “Hustlers,” while Wilson had a busy 2021 with the likes of “Loki” and “The French Dispatch.” Together their odd couple chemistry has some charm, but it never sizzles like an Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling or Hugh Grant/anyone he’s paired with.

Aside from the chemistry of its leads, a romcom is only as good as its repartee and “Marry Me” really only has a few instance of it. Far too often, characters respond exactly how you would expect them to (if you’ve seen any movie ever), and several conflicts could be sooner resolved if they explained things like normal people. There are a few clever and amusing deliveries from some of the supporting cast (the priest near the start steals his scene), but the laughs are far too few and in between.

The film just never builds up momentum or tension, and just plays more like checking off an obligated series of events that happen to be taking place, instead of a plot with natural progression. There are also many distracting shots featuring some sort of curved lens that stretches the sides of the frame, and it is so random you really have to wonder what the reason behind using it was.

“Marry Me” is totally harmless and the Valentine’s Day crowd will eat it up. If you want to hear J-Lo workshopping a half-dozen new songs or the idea of a celebrity dating a middle school math teacher is appealing to you, then go nuts. But for everyone else, this is one proposal that you can object to.

Critics Rating: 5/10

Universal Pictures

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