Well folks it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, and with that comes the “need” to watch some sort of romantic comedy.
My wife and I saw ‘Redeeming Love’ in theaters a couple of months ago, and one of the previews that popped up on the big screen was for Jennifer Lopez & Owen Wilson’s newest movie, ‘Marry Me.’
She immediately said “We gotta see that,” and I totally agreed.
The movie follows two completely different people, mega-star Kat Valdez (Lopez) and elementary school math teacher Charlie Gilbert (Wilson). In a social media-driven world, Valdez is set to marry the “love of her life” Bastian (Maluma). Bastian is also a pop sensation heart-throb, and they seem like one of Hollywood’s “match made in Heaven” couples. So what do you do when you’re the biggest stars in the world? You debut your new single “Marry Me” in front of an audience where it will also be streamed in front of 20 million people. Oh yeah, and you’re also going to recite your vows on stage and get married. Talk about quite the show.
But as I told my wife last night while watching this film, “There must be conflict for the story to progress!” She looked at me like I’m a crazy movie nerd and we just continued watching (she’s right though). Just before Valdez hits the stage in her elegant wedding dress, she’s shown a video where Bastian is making out with her assistant. It hits the internet and social media platforms by storm just as she’s coming up onto the stage.
Now she’s left with a choice. Does she go on and marry this man who seemingly cheated on her? Or does she do something sporadic?
Cue Charlie Gilbert. Gilbert’s been seen by his daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman) as uncool for so long. Divorced from his wife, he now pales in comparison to his ex’s new man, who his daughter thinks is “really cool and fun.” Sarah Silverman plays Parker Debbs, the guidance counselor at his school and Charlie’s best friend. She was supposed to take *both* her girlfriend, and her girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend to Kat Valdez’s concert. Well, after 17 days, Parker and her girlfriend break up and now she needs to take two people to the show. She invites Charlie and Chloe to the show, and begrudgingly, Charlie agrees to try and impress his daughter. Show her he’s still “cool.”
With ‘Marry Me’ being the hit song set to debut at this concert, Debbs brings a sign that reads the song title. At some point during the show, she has to run off and take a livestream of her at the concert and shove it in her ex’s face. Debbs was definitely a huge part in the movie’s comedic relief. So she hands the sign to Charlie.
Now Charlie is standing there with this ‘Marry Me’ sign, and Valdez begins to address the crowd. The speech probably could’ve been cut a little bit as we all knew where this was going. Valdez decides to take a leap of faith and do something spontaneous. She sees Charlie in the crowd and says “Yes, I’ll marry you.”
Well by Gawd Charlie is rushed to the stage and cheered on by many along the way. That poor man was probably in shock! But he gets up to the stage, meets Kat Valdez face to face, and they said “I do.” Well, she does. Charlie just says “okay.”
In the beginning, both just think this whole thing is a publicity stunt. But as time goes on, the pair begins to fall for each other. They realize they each have something to offer the other. It’s the classic “polar opposites” love story where they complete each other. Charlie helps Kat becoming more self-sustaining, and Kat helps Charlie open up to the beauty of life. And she gets him on social media, where he becomes an internet sensation in half an hour. If only.
You also see the compassion Kat possesses. She begins to show up to school functions and classes to help teach the kids with Charlie and also to have fun. I imagined myself as a 10-year-old student and having the biggest superstar in the world come to my class. That would’ve been pretty awesome.
As I mentioned earlier, I told my wife there needs to be conflict in the movie to really make the story compelling. I said about 2/3 of the way through this movie, there needs to be something “bad” that happens that throws this dream off-balance. Wow, I’m probably so fun to watch movies with. Sorry babe. But this is exactly what happens.
Bastian comes back into the picture and has his eyes completely set on Kat. But what will she choose? Does she forgive Bastian and return to the full-time megastar life? Or does she choose Charlie and settle for both simple and superstardom. Or is the question really, will Charlie choose her? You’ll have to find out!
The last thing I’ll say about this movie is the fact that Peoria, Illinois played a big part in the ending. Charlie and Lou head to Peoria for a “mathalon” tournament and J-Lo probably name drops Peoria five times in five minutes. Hey, I live here, so I’m not complaining. And my wife loved it! But I gotta know if somebody from the cast or crew is from P-Town.
It was comical though how when Kat lands in “Peoria,” the sign on the outside of the airport reads Champaign. Champaign is another medium-sized city about an hour and a half from Peoria… Also, the bus Kat rides also says “Champaign.” They should’ve called me and I could’ve hooked them up with the people at Peoria International Airport to do the shoots there. Honestly, the set would’ve looked way better at PIA than whatever backdrop they used for this scene. But I’ll digress.
Checkout the film if you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day rom-com! It’s showing in theaters and is available on Peacock! I would recommend this movie to romantic-comedy lovers. And this is coming from a guy who’s favorite genres are action, sci-fi and horror.
Also shoutout to J-Lo for acting, singing, and dancing throughout the whole movie. She basically gave a concert, while rehearsing her dances, while acting. Very impressive. Her songs were also very catchy. I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘On My Way’ starts trending on the charts here pretty quickly. Most of the songs are upbeat, pop songs. This one takes a step back and lets the story breathe. It’s a more melancholy, sad tune that coincides with where the story of the film is. Very nice song.
Owen Wilson was also… Owen Wilson. I’ve always enjoyed his characters and think he’s a very likeable guy. You want to root for him. Charlie’s a guy who’s really been down on his luck and he finally struck gold with Kat. You want to see this pair win, even though they’re nothing alike.
While ‘Marry Me’ has a 57% on Rotten Tomatoes, the Audience Score is 91%. I’m the type of guy who pays attention to the audience score a little more than “critics.” I’d give the movie a solid 7/10. I think it was funny, the characters were charming, and the story (while predictable) was something we hadn’t really seen before. My wife gives it a 10/10.