• Release Date: 11/02/2022
  • Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, Sarah Silverman, John Bradley
  • Director: Kat Coiro

It has been a long time since I was excited about watching a romantic film in theaters. The last romantic film that I thoroughly enjoyed was Marriage Story and that was a Netflix film. Ever since I saw the trailer for Marry Me, I had this inherent feeling that I was going to enjoy this film. After having a less than enjoyable time at the theaters watching Uncharted, I went into this film with an open mind and kept my expectations low. To my utter pleasure, the film turned out to be a lot better than what I was expecting and surprised me with its mature and nuanced dealing of an over-the-top and dreamy plot. The film also had some memorable performances from actors who are considered more of crowd-pullers than serious players. The beautiful music and background score were the icing on the cake.   

Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) is a pop idol and is dating Bastian (Maluma) who is just as big a pop icon as she is. The two plan to exchange vows in a humongous concert that is garnering a viewership of 20 million. Minutes, before they can exchange their vows, a steamy clip of Bastian kissing one of Kat’s assistants, goes viral and Kat sees it just before she makes her way up on the stage in her wedding gown. Devastated and hurt by the sudden turn of events, Kat pick Charlie (Owen Wilson) from the crowd who is holding a poster for his friend that says, “Marry Me”. Kat offers to marry him then and there. Charlie is overwhelmed but for some strange reason says “okay”. The world goes crazy with this insane turn of events and the very next day, Kat’s team is mulling on options to annul the marriage. Strangely, Kat feels that she needs to go ahead with whatever it is that she has started for atleast a while before she can take any drastic corrective measures. What happens next goes on to define both Kat and Charlie as they not only find solace and strength in each other’s company but also learn to explore different facets of their personality that they didn’t know existed.

“Marry Me” unfolds through a series of meetings and dialogues between Kat and Charlie. This is one aspect of the film that I absolutely loved. It is so well structured that it becomes easy to forget everything else and just concentrate on the performances. Just after the two are married most bizarrely, they show mutual respect for each other’s lives and privacy and start accommodating each other right off the bat proving that they were great human beings to start with. While Charlie takes it upon himself to be there for everything that Kat needs him for, Kat tries to re-schedules her days to suit Charlie’s schedule thereby not putting his life in a tailspin. She shows interest in Charlie’s life and instead of trying to bedazzle him with her world, she makes a conscious effort to understand his life and appreciate the little things that make Charlie who he is. The two are seen speaking over long periods and through these discussions, they essentially bare themselves emotionally to each other.

With every subsequent meeting and dialogue between the two, they seem to be getting closer and closer to each other. Charlie is never in awe of the diva that Kat is and treats her more like a friend with whom he shares a lot and asks a lot of questions too. In Charlie’s company, Kat, for the first time in her relationships, tastes normalcy and the true essence of focused love and attention. That was evidently something that she was looking for in a man and with time, she falls head over heels in love with him for this very reason.

Soon there comes a time when his old love, Bastian makes a strong comeback. He professes his love for her. He tries to mend his ways and writes a song for her. They both get nominated for a Grammy; something that Kat desperately wanted. Bastian’s advances are supported by Kat’s entire PR and marketing team who feel that the two are good for each other’s success and progress. Most importantly, after a lot of initial flourishes, Charlie apparently starts taking a step back from what was looking like a strong relationship. He expresses to Kat that their worlds are too dissimilar to somehow blend together into a harmonious mix. Confusions are created and a time comes when Kat is faced with the daunting task of choosing between the two men. While we all know who she will choose in the end, it is the manner in which she does it that makes it so real, heartwarming, and loveable.

Jennifer Lopez has absolutely killed it with her rendition of someone that is basically her. In the course of my research for this review, I found that Jennifer was married thrice and some of the relationships that she had in real life felt uncannily similar to what Kat describes to Charlie during one of their dialogues. Thus, I feel that the realism, warmth, and longing that Lopez is able to evoke through her character has its genesis in her real life and tragedies. That is something that has gone on to enrich her performance to such an extent that I cannot possibly imagine anyone else playing the character other than her.

She is that good in her essay. I don’t think anyone needs to hear how gorgeous she looks as that is well known to one and all but her beauty is elevated many folds by the sheer goodness and simplicity of the character that she plays. I just loved her scenes with Charlie’s daughter Lou played by Chloe Coleman. She truthfully expresses her apprehensions and misgivings to her about certain aspects of her life and draws a parallel of it with the problems that the kid was facing effectively. Her bond with her is instant and it is one that she is shown enjoying rather than just going ahead with as Charlie was involved.   

Owen Wilson is Owen Wilson in this film and that’s all he had to be. He is so natural and endearing in his rendition of Charlie that it is hard not to love his character from the first time that we are introduced to him. He is someone who is having a hard time keeping up pace with his daughter who has problems of her own. He is recently divorced and is apparently not out of that trauma completely. And then Kat happens to him. It is evident from Wilson’s rendition that he desperately wants her to stay in his life but he knows that he is so far from her world that it might be impossible for the two to stay together. Wilson brings this tragedy to life in the most heart-touching manner possible.

By adding the weight of the emotional punch that he brings to the predicament, he makes it so much more than just a plot point. I thoroughly loved the scenes that the two characters share together. It is Wilson who does most of the talking and it is apparent that he is eager to prove himself to be something great in front of her. I know that feeling as I have tried that in my life too and it was cute to see him bring out those emotions in a way that he did. All this added up to make his essay wholesome and one of the two pillars on which this film practically stands.

Marry Me has fantastic music. I just loved the songs. Be it the title track or the song that Kat apparently writes for Charlie by the end of the film, it all made sense and since we are dealing with an actual pop star here, it only made sense that entire songs were inserted in the film. They felt apt and more than anything they added the necessary gusto and feel to the film that it needed to make the proceedings and the rendition of the pop star feel real.

Marry Me has its share of flaws but I enjoyed the film so much that I don’t even want to bring them up. It is the kind of film that left such a good taste in my mouth that I completely forgot that I had just consumed a bucket full of mush and that in no way was going to keep me in good stead when I returned to the stark realities of the actual world and the “nightmare” that modern relationships have become. But Still, I would like to thank the makers of Marry Me for making a film that will definitely give the romantics an escape into their dreams and fantasies for a solid 2 hours.

Rating: 3.5/5 (3.5 out of 5 Stars)   

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