Marry Me, by Cameron J. Czaja

For those who were hoping for a review of the latest romantic comedy Marry Me from The Legionnaire, then consider yourself lucky. The reason I’m saying that is because as a depressingly single individual, I had no interest in seeing a film about two people slowly falling in love. Also, even if I really wanted to see it, I wouldn’t have been able to watch and review the weekend it came out due to work and the Super Bowl. Also, with more films coming out and other personal things that I’ve been attending to, I thought I wouldn’t get the opportunity to watch this film, or so I thought. It turns out that this film, much like Warner Bros. films from last year, is streaming simultaneously on Peacock, which is the streaming service for anything Universal Studios related. Yeah. . . .

Even though I was not looking forward to watching Marry Me, I am looking to reviewing it, but not for the one reason you may think. Yes, I will trash it if it is a dumpster fire of a film but I’m mostly looking forward to getting back into the routine of reviewing newly released films on a weekly basis. While this may not be one that I was eager to see, it’s something that could surprise me and, to be honest, I like being surprised from a film I thought was going to be bad. Was this a trainwreck as I thought it was going to be? Let’s find out, and spoilers will be present, though because it is a romantic comedy would I really be spoiling it? 

In Marry Me, we follow Katalina “Kat” Valdez (Jennifer Lopez), who happens to be a famous pop singer engaged to another famous pop singer named Bastian (Maluma). The two have released a smash hit single “Marry Me,” which has become the theme to their wedding that will take place at a concert in New York City viewed by twenty million people. Another character that we follow in the film is Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), who is a teacher trying to get his daughter Lou Gilbert (Chole Coleman) adjusted to the school where he teaches. While Charlie is excited for the opportunity to be closer to his daughter, Lou has the opposite feeling, mainly because her parents are no longer together, and isn’t looking forward to this new situation. On the eve of the concert, Charlie’s friend/work associate Parker (Sarah Silverman) offers him and Lou extra tickets to Kat and Bastian’s concert due to her significant other breaking up with her. Charlie reluctantly tags along. During the concert Kat’s production crew discovers through Page Six (a celebrity news site for those unaware) that Bastian is cheating on her with Kat’s assistant. This causes Kat some understandable distress, prompting her to make a speech about how love isn’t really what she thought it was. Then she spots Charlie in the crowd with a sign that said “Marry Me,” which was given to him by Parker, who originally had it but gave it to Charlie to make a video during the concert. On an impulse, Kat agrees to marry Charlie, which leaves the crowd (including himself) extremely confused. Despite the confusion, the crowd is still charged up and Charlie is somewhat forced to go on stage not only by the crowd but by Lou and Parker as well. Charlie gets on stage where he and Kat get married in front of everyone and afterwards social media blows up about this turn of events. The morning after her manager, Collin (John Bradley), urges her to pay Charlie off and move on from him. However, she announces via a press conference that she is staying with him. Charlie reluctantly agrees to stay with Kat as well because he feels like he wants to help her, and from there the films focuses on this pseudo-couple that may or may not really fall for each other.

So, after watching this Marry Me, there were several things about the film that surprised me. The first thing was that it was based on a graphic novel of the same name. The second thing was that predictable, cliché romantic comedies where you know how it’s going to end is still present in Hollywood, and this is the latest example. Part of me thought there was going to be a clever twist in the film but nope, when it comes to cliché Hollywood romantic comedies, old habits die hard. And the third thing that was a surprise was that I didn’t hate it as I thought I would. Make no mistake, I was bored throughout and was just counting down the minutes, but there were some things that caught my attention. 

If there’s one thing about Marry Me that didn’t make me hate it was the some of characters that I thought I was going to strongly dislike. Aside from Bastian, there wasn’t anyone that I had strong negative feelings towards, which is usually the case for these types of romantic comedies. This element of surprise was much needed because I thought I was going to strongly dislike Kat for putting Charlie in an awkward position. But, for some reason, I didn’t. Perhaps it is because Charlie just went with the flow of the events of the film and was a team player for Kat and her entourage of people who control her musical career. It also helped that Charlie is such a humble guy that you can’t help but admire him. Granted, his likability doesn’t give him much range from there, but I guess I’ll take what I can get in favor of not liking him for almost two hours. 

While I didn’t hate Marry Me, there was one scene that did make me a bit uncomfortable, which took place during the concert in the beginning of the film. One of the songs that Kat performs in during the show is called “Church,” which involved backup dancers in provocative religious attire with a church setting as backdrop. That and the suggestive dancing from Kat gave me minor flashbacks to the other Jennifer Lopez movie I reviewed for The LegionnaireHustlers (2019), which was my second review and one that I didn’t enjoy. I would say that the films depiction of marriage would be something that would bother me given that it is a Sacrament, though for some reason it didn’t. I know it may sound a little controversial, but maybe it’s because I’m currently an unmarried person with no plans of marriage yet or the fact that it wasn’t a Catholic wedding to where I would’ve felt more emotion for it then. Either way, it’s not worth overthinking about it given the ridiculous scenario of a wedding taking place during a concert.

In retrospect, Marry Me feels like a throwback to romantic comedies from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Boy gets girl, boy loses girl, and finally boy gets girl again. The only way you couldn’t predict the ending is if you’ve never watched a romantic comedy before, though if that was the case then I’m sorry it had to be this one. In all seriousness though, I don’t hate the film as I thought I was going to, nor like it enough to recommend to people eager to watch a romantic comedy. It’s cliché, predictable and just there for those already in love wanting to see other people in love. Again, not terrible enough to where I have to warn people of it, but given so many other choices out there via theater and streaming, it’s one I would skip.

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