Ah, Valentine’s Day. The season of love, affection and terrible romantic comedies hoping to cash in on the most popular date night of the year. Marry Me is the newest cliché riddled copy of every other cheaply thrown together rom/com dumped on viewers in February. What is there to say about Marry Me? Well, a lot. And at the same time, very little. It’s a movie as bland and soulless as its premise promises. Love conquers all, and the unlikeliest of pairings are always the perfect match. It’s like a piece of slightly burnt toast. You’ll be able to manage your way through it, though it won’t be pleasurable. And once it’s done, you’ll have a bad taste left in your mouth.
Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) is an international super star. A singing sensation with a devoted fanbase and a not so devoted fiancé. When she learns that the man she’s supposed to marry has been cheating on her, she makes the completely logical (sarcasm) decision to pull a random stranger from the crowd at her concert and marry him instead. That stranger is Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson). He’s a single dad, a teacher and about as boring a person as you’ve ever met. The premise sets up your typical fish out of water comedy. Charlie doesn’t know how to navigate life in the spotlight, and Kat is clueless about everyday life for the average person. If you think that’s a recipe for comedy gold, you are sadly mistaken.
Marry Me is a love story. It’s a romance, and as such, the romantic connection between the two stars is vital. Unfortunately, the lack of chemistry or connection between Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson is clear. The fact that Marry Me is adapted from a graphic novel is fitting. It’s characters and plot are as flat as the pages of a comic book. Kat and Charlie go together like macaroni and chocolate syrup. I like macaroni. I like chocolate syrup. But I would hate them together. Each line of playful dialogue and flirtatious banter feels forced and fake. Most of their time together is spent helping one another to adapt to a new life style. Kat helps Charlie to cut loose and get out of his shell, while Charlie teaches Kat… how to use a blender. Brilliant.
I realize that this review paints me as somebody who hates romantic comedies; like an alternate version of Ebenezer Scrooge who despises Valentine’s Day instead of Christmas. That isn’t the case. I do, however, hate this one. Director Kat Coiro fails to craft a single genuine moment between this unlikely and forced pair. Owen Wilson lacks the energetic enthusiasm we’ve seen him bring to better roles like John Beckwith from Wedding Crashers (a far better rom/com with actual chemistry).
Marry Me will release in theaters and on Peacock November 11. There’s no better way to view this film, if you must view it at all, than at home and for free through a streaming subscription. My recommendation, is to put on a classic instead. A re-watch of When Harry Met Sally or The Princess Bride would serve you better this Valentine’s Day. After all, they are classics for a reason. 2/10