Lopez/Duhamel action romcom is a banger; cursing, violence.
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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 Shotgun Wedding is an over-the-top romantic action comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel as a couple whose dream wedding is derailed by pirates. Much of the iffy behavior stems from the likable, aspirational lead characters, who celebrate killing their adversaries (how they do it is intended to be comedic in its shock value and includes some raw, bloody injuries). They also exchange some racy lines and incorporate strong language into their daily speech ("a--hole," "bitch," "s--t," and many uses of "f--k"). Adults drink at a celebration; one character talks about a regrettable decision made because she had too much. In a scene in which her character is playfully trying to bed her groom-to be, Lopez strips down to her underwear and pops her bottom for the camera. But it should be noted that this can also be seen as positive age representation, as her character is clear about the fact that she's over 50. The setting is a resort in the Philippines, and between the Latina bride and her family, Lenny Kravitz as the coolest ex-boyfriend you can imagine, and the capable, considerate Filipino characters, the cast is noticeably diverse.
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What's the Story?
In SHOTGUN WEDDING, Darcy (Jennifer Lopez) and Tom (Josh Duhamel)'s dream destination island wedding in the Philippines starts starts on shaky ground when Tom becomes a groomzilla and Darcy tries to ward off clashes with family members. When a band of pirates storms the ceremony and takes the wedding guests hostage, Darcy and Tom must work together to save themselves, their family and friends, and their future union. The cast also includes Jennifer Coolidge, Cheech Marin, Sônia Braga, D'Arcy Carden, and Lenny Kravitz.
Is It Any Good?
Director Jason Moore and writer Mark Hammer craft a laugh-out-loud modern-day screwball romance with guns, grenades, and a very memorable use of a hair extension. If you squint, you could almost pretend that the rapid-fire dialogue is being delivered by Cary Grant and Irene Dunn. But, really, there's no need for that because Duhamel and Lopez banter and bicker at their best, likely leaving viewers in stitches. This is a mature love story (and thank you, JLo, for playing a character who says she's over 50 and then struts her stuff to show that years don't make you "less than" in any way), and the language, drinking, violence, and casual conversations reinforce that it isn't intended for kids. That said, it's a crowd-pleasing comedy that will probably entertain a wide range of ages, from older teens to grandparents.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the diverse portrayals in Shotgun Wedding. Why does representation matter?
Deaths and serious injuries are caused more by the aspirational main characters than the villains. How does that compare to other action or romantic comedies you've seen? How is the violence used for laughs? Does that affect its impact?
Which characters demonstrate teamwork? Why is that an important character strength?
- On DVD or streaming: January 27, 2023
- Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge
- Director: Jason Moore
- Studio: Amazon Prime Video
- Genre: Romance
- Character Strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language and some violence/bloody images
- Last updated: January 31, 2023
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