REVIEW: ‘Marry Me’ has enough rom-com magic to win viewers over

My ears definitely perked up when I heard this film was actually based on a graphic novel, which I now want to read.

Jennifer Lopez is Kat in “Marry Me,” a pop music super star who’s preparing for a concert like no other. She plans to get married on stage in front of a huge crowd to her fiance, Bastian, who’s also a singer.

However, before the show, she learns that Bastian cheated on her. Upset and wanting a quick fix, she decides to pick a stranger in the crowd to marry instead. That stranger is Charlie (Owen Wilson), a school teacher and single father. The two at first see it as an in the moment, reversible mistake, but soon grow closer.

“Marry Me” is a cheesy, schmaltzy romantic comedy released right around Valentine’s Day. It’s a has all the makings for a run of the mill, lovey-dovey picture made to capitalize on the holiday.

While it’s easy to be rather cynical with a movie like this, though, it actually succeeds at winning a person over. There’s a real sincerity to the film, an earnestness at play that makes you want to root for this couple to succeed.

There’s a bit of a self awareness to the film, with many of the characters commenting on just how unorthodox Kat’s impulsive action was. At the same time, the film remains committed to the sweetness of the budding romance between the two lead characters and embraces how life can be spontaneous at times.

Finding that balance ultimately works to the film’s advantage. The caution being thrown to the wind is acknowledged in the movie, and yet it also makes for a fun romantic journey for Kat and Charlie.

Courtesy Universal Pictures.

It is true that the film goes through expected motions of the genre. It’s entirely predictable from start to finish, there’s a precocious child character and best friends give advice on both sides.

The familiar genre trappings take up space and ultimately keep “Marry Me” from being up on the top tier level of the genre. However, while stereotypical aspects are present, they’re never enough to hinder one’s enjoyment of the picture overall.

It helps to have a pair of good, honest performances from Lopez and Wilson. It certainly helps that they’re in roles that they’re rather familiar with. On top of having plenty of genre experience, Lopez is also playing a world-famous singer. As a result, she’s a natural on screen in this role.

Meanwhile, Wilson, as seen in movies like “Midnight in Paris,” is really good at playing a guy with a heart of gold who can be reserved at times, but still passionate. That’s what his character is like here as well and Wilson does good work.

The supporting characters are kind of hit and miss, though. Sarah Silverman feels miscast Charlie’s friend, with the character leaning on a comedic style that doesn’t fit as well. Kat, meanwhile, has two assistant characters who are with her regularly, and there really should have just been one character. John Bradley is charming as one of those assistants, though.

The film is also bolstered by  having Kat be a famous singer. Lopez gets to use her musical talents in “Marry Me” and the results are some catchy tunes that helps a viewer buy in not only on Kat’s ability’s, but the relationship unfolding, too.

Despite having to trudge through a lot of generic terrain, “Marry Me” succeeds at being a sweet, heartwarming experience worth checking out. 3.6 out 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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