The new RomCom with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez takes the “Notting Hill” concept further. Came out with MARRY ME – MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT a cute Valentine’s Day date film that works on all the levels it’s supposed to work on – with lots of sympathy stars to boot. We reveal more about this in our review.
OT: Marry Me (USA 2022)
Pop diva Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) and newcomer Bastian (Maluma) are the hottest VIP couple in the world and have just taken the top of the charts by storm with their joint hit single “Marry Me”. It’s only logical that they celebrate their dream wedding with as much publicity as possible and live in front of an audience of millions. Divorced math teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) is also dragged to this mega event by his daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman) and his best friend Parker (Sarah Silverman). But when Kat finds out right before the wedding that her fiancé has cheated on her with her assistant, she is forced to make a spontaneous decision. When she catches sight of the unsuspecting Charlie in the crowd, she impulsively decides to marry him. What no one, especially Kat’s hard-working PR team, could have guessed: the high-profile superstar and the lovable average guy are actually getting closer. But can two people from such different worlds be happy together?
It is repeatedly noticeable that the topics of logic and credibility play a major role in the perception of film quality. In a certain way, this is understandable: the more narrative conflicts insist on being close to reality, rooted in “our world”, in the here and now, the higher the standards are that one can actually imagine the events presented as “it could be like that can imagine. However, there are also genres in which breaking with this is practically de rigueur and the construction of story twists and plot surprises often goes hand in hand with a certain degree of construction. But while in action films there are hardly any complaints anymore when fathers and mothers suddenly mutate into revenge machines even though they have never had a weapon in their hands before, in other genres the term “far-fetched” often still has something derogatory about it. And so it’s not surprising that in some reviews of Kat Coiro’s music rom-com “Marry Me – Married at First Sight” one can read that the premise is – well – somehow only partially realistic: after a failed live Wedding in front of an audience of millions, a world star simply marries a “normal person”. Regardless of whether it is out of defiance, a thirst for adventure or resignation, a tender romance soon develops out of this quick shot – and thus the story fits perfectly into a canon of themes such as classic romances such as “Pretty Woman”, “Notting Hill” or last used “Long Shot”. And the latter even has the USA subtitle “Unlikely but not impossible”…
For others an intimate moment, for superstar Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) and Charlie (Owen Wilson) a single show: the wedding
In the end, what matters most in a love story is that you keep your fingers crossed for the maybe-maybe-or-not couple at the center and want a happy ending for them both. And this is exactly the case with “Marry Me”. Director Kat Coiro (who was recently entrusted with directing the “She-Hulk” series), whose female perspective on the scenario will be very important for the tone of the film – but more on that later – as well as her writing team from Harper Dill (“The Mick”), John Rogers (“The Core – The Inner Core”) and Tami Sagher (“Inside Amy Schumer”) brilliantly transfer Bobby Crosby’s graphic novel of the same name (!) to the screen. This is done by, on the one hand, applying the mechanisms of great Hollywood love stories that have always worked, adapting them to the (social media) conditions of the present and thereby creating a film reality that is credible and approachable despite its huge distance from the reality of life of its audience . In the age of relationship PR stunts and the public’s increasing interest in the private lives of superstars, it’s actually pretty realistic what “Marry Me” superstar Kat Valdez is doing here. Both her decision to celebrate her public marriage to an equally successful musician at a concert and, given her characterization, to simply spontaneously marry someone else.
“Director Kat Coiro, whose female perspective on the scenario will be very important for the tonality of the film, as well as her writing team of Harper Dill and John Rogers brilliantly transfer Bobby Crosby’s graphic novel of the same name (!) to the screen.”
The script establishes Kat Valdez as a completely self-confident artist on stage, aware of her abilities and attractiveness, but who also suffers from her previously unsuccessful private life away from her stage career. Making fun of it yourself and losing composure and self-confidence at the moment of the latest disappointment – completely human. Nevertheless, the outdated romance idea of the woman who either is super successful or there is no harmonious love life here; on the contrary. Kat has been married several times, but the marriages always ended in emotional catastrophe. It’s not for nothing that her last name, Valdez, is reminiscent of the Exxon Valdez natural disaster in the late 1980s. And while we’re on the subject of analyzing her name, the fact that from the moment of her recent marriage to a “nobody” she no longer begins to celebrate her private life so publicly, but rather goes through her everyday life in a gentler and more reserved manner, is reflected in her Similarity between “Kat” and “Cat”, in USA: cat, close – which also always lands on its paws. Furthermore, it also suits the actress herself: Since her relationship with Ben Affleck has flared up again, the “Jenny from the Block” interpreter is no longer drawn to the public outside of her music as much as she used to be – especially in comparison to the dalliance with Affleck, which was exploited in the media Early noughties.
Kat shakes up Charlie’s math class…
Kat Coiro makes it clear again and again in “Marry Me” that she, alongside the sweet, Jennifer Lopez (“The Boy Next Door”) and Owen Wilson (“The French Dispatch”) It is also important to take a look behind the show business scenes during the flirtation. Her film is certainly not a biting media satire, but particularly thanks to the precise casting, she manages to create a feeling that even (most) superstars are just people. That’s not a particularly profound insight even for a romantic comedy, but it also creates closeness to a supposedly unattainable figure, which Lopez embodies with an almost god-like presence. It also fits that the creatives refrain from striving for the ideal wavelength between the two: While she remains the untouchable superstar for many, he is at peace with himself as an inconspicuous math teacher right up to the end and sparks still fly believably between the actors. Furthermore, there is a sympathetic intimacy to Coiro’s production; And perhaps it is partly due to her feminine view of the events, but also to her understanding of the poor aging of some older film romances, that, apart from the presence of her leading actress, she does everything she can to portray them as “people like you and me”. to represent. For example, when Lopez is doing yoga exercises in a scene, her stomach, although perfectly toned, is allowed to bulge a little over the waistband of her pants and cameraman Florian Ballhaus (“The Captain”) does not take advantage of this scene to showcase her body in a voyeuristic, vulturous way. A little more irritating are the occasionally slightly distorted fisheye image edges in panoramic shots, the trick of which is not clear.
“Kat Coiro’s film is certainly not a biting media satire, but especially through the precise casting, she manages to create a feeling that (most) superstars are just people.”
The fact that “Marry Me” is, in addition to a love story and a look behind the showbiz scenes, above all an overlong commercial for the music performed here, is more obvious – especially economically. And admittedly: Not every song performed here is relevant in terms of content, but rather served to turn the accompanying soundtrack into an out-of-order JLo album. The collection of songs works as such, even though the songs are all similar. It’s (well-produced) radio pop – with standout numbers like the title song “Marry Me”, which works even better in the ballad version, or her composition “On My Way” (which is very relevant in terms of content). And the ironic and provocative “Church” also becomes a highlight in its show performance here.
Conclusion: The glossy rom-com “Marry Me” tells a sweet love story in the face of the showbiz spotlight, peppered with a couple with adorable chemistry and numerous JLo songs that were produced so precisely for the film that they at least in the cinema it’s really exciting. However, you should have a certain affinity for “Notting Hill” stories. Then a trip to the cinema becomes a perfect Valentine’s Day date.
“Marry Me – Married at First Sight” can be seen in USA cinemas from February 10, 2022.