Romcom has so-so story, over-the-top product placement.
Based on 12 reviews
Based on 11 reviews
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Marry Me is a music-infused romcom starring Jennifer Lopez (who also produced) as Kat Valdez, a pop star who impulsively marries a random guy (Owen Wilson) during a concert. Based on Bobby Crosby's graphic novel about a young, bubbly Britney Spears type, the story is transformed into a multicultural musical experience. Kat is engaged to Latino superstar Bastian (played by Latin music megastar Maluma), and the two often sing and speak Spanish. There are other non-lead characters of color, as well as LGBTQ+ and disability representation in supporting and background roles. Iffy content includes a few curses ("ass," "s--t") and a non-detailed reference to the fact that Kat's previous marriage ended when her husband sold a sex tape. Characters kiss, and after six weeks of marriage, it's implied that a couple consummates their marriage, but nothing happens on camera. What may take viewers aback is the movie's enthusiastic embrace of consumerism; the film often feels like an advertising platform. Kat is a material girl living in a material world, and the product placement is blatant. Brands are everywhere: fashion, beer, iPhones, even a Vitamix blender that practically becomes a character. Producer/distributor NBCUniversal's shows and networks are featured to the point of obnoxiousness. And with Lopez only being shown in a glamorous and flattering light (other than Kat's preposterous decision being roundly mocked), it's clear that viewers are being sold on the star herself.
ok not great, one offensive scene for people of faith.
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What's the Story?
In MARRY ME, pop superstar lovebirds Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) and Bastian (Maluma) are planning their elaborate wedding in front of 20 million concertgoers. But just as the show and ceremony get underway, an online gossip site breaks the story that Bastian is cheating. On stage in full wedding garb, Kat panics -- until she spots a solution: unassuming math teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), who just happens to be carrying a sign that reads "marry me."
Is It Any Good?
A lot like when your crush turns out to be just another pretty face, this JLo romcom is cute, but there's nothing on the inside. The premise of Marry Me promises the fulfillment of an over-the-top romantic fantasy: If we could spend time with a fabulous celebrity, of course they'd love us! But the story doesn't play out in a way that lets viewers suspend their disbelief and accept the unlikelihood that middle-school math teacher Charlie and pop star Kat could really make a go of it. For starters, Wilson suppresses his low-key, humble charm enough that Charlie is pretty boring. Worse, he's aloof. In other words, Kat, he's just not that into you. And that's a difficult choice for a protagonist: How can we put ourselves in Charlie's shoes if Charlie doesn't seem to care about or want to be with Kat? Even worse, Kat is unrelatable, despite "down to earth" scenes that seem specifically engineered to make her seem that way. Charlie pleads for her to take the make-up off and let her hair down because he doesn't like all the flash and the fake front she's created for her social media followers. But even in her "morning after" moment, Kat always looks "done" and is always "on."
Lopez probably believes that she's playing Kat with vulnerability, but in the moments that are scripted to depict Kat as a "regular girl" who just happens to be rich and famous, Lopez refuses to step off of the pedestal she's put herself on. Lopez's production company, Nuyorican, is behind Marry Me, and it may be that the filmmakers' view of normalcy surrounding celebrity is so far skewed from everyone else's reality that it interferes with creating a film that audiences will truly connect with and enjoy. The reason romantic comedies work is that they offer viewers the hope that someone wonderful will see you, flaws and all, and love you anyway. But Charlie's flaw appears to be that he isn't on social media, and Kat's is that she doesn't know how to use a blender. (Seriously.) Faced with perfection like that, how can any of us relate? Of course, if viewers walk away thinking that being in a relationship with a glamorous star sounds terrible, well, then maybe this film is a success.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the romantic comedy formula and how Marry Me supports or defies the genre's standard storytelling.
The movie was adapted from a graphic novel in which the pop princess is young, shallow, and White, and the guy in the crowd goes along with the marriage because he thinks if he turns her down, he'll be branded as gay for the rest of his life. How was the story transformed to be more diverse and inclusive? Why is positive representation important?
What product placement did you spot in the film? Why do brands contribute money to media production in exchange for favorable inclusion? Do you think it's OK to market to kids?
What role does social media play in Kat's life? How does it impact her decisions and the way she chooses to live her life?
After the movie ends, what do you think happens to Charlie and Kat? Where do you see them in 10 years? Why?
- In theaters: February 11, 2022
- On DVD or streaming: March 29, 2022
- Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Sarah Silverman, Maluma, Chloe Coleman
- Director: Kat Coiro
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 112 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: some language and suggestive material
- Last updated: June 25, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Breezy but amusing '90s romcom has sex, language.
Delightful classic is perfect for family movie night.
Maid in Manhattan
Undeniably pleasing if not particularly memorable.
Midnight in Paris
Jaunty romcom mines adult themes of marriage and career.
JLo glows in friendship comedy with swearing, racy humor.
For kids who love love against all odds
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