Movie Review: Marry Me

Our cinemas in Hong Kong have finally reopened and our distributors are busy playing catch-up with the rest of the world. That’s why MARRY ME, which opened in the US in February, is about to start playing here now. How lucky I am that this would be the first film that I see in the cinema in three-and-a-half months. I’m kidding, of course.

In MARRY ME, Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez, SECOND ACT) is a music superstar, and she and Latino music sensation, Bastian (Maluma), have decided to tie the knot in front of 20 million of their fans after they sing their hot, new duet, “Marry Me”. A last-minute revelation, however, throws a spanner in the works leaving Kat to decide whether to move forward with the nuptials or try something different. She opts for the latter, picking divorced high-school math teacher and father, Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson, THE FRENCH DISPATCH; NO ESCAPE; SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY), out of the crowd at her concert and marrying him on the spot, much to the delight of Charlie’s 12-year-old daughter, Lou (Chloe Coleman, MY SPY), and his work colleague and best friend, school guidance counsellor Parker (Sarah Silverman, DON’T LOOK UP), who are both with him at the show.

Don’t expect much logic in this escapist romcom. The basic premise is only the beginning of all the ridiculous situations and lines in this film. Leaving aside the fact that Lopez is 25 years older than Maluma or, as Kat’s manager, Colin (John Bradley, TV’s GOT), says, “she’s north of 35”, I haven’t been to the States in a few years but do Americans now need a passport to fly from New York to Peoria? I also scratched my head when Kat goes to bed with perfectly flat-ironed, cropped hair and wakes up the next morning with a shaggy mane that goes past her shoulders. Even these, though, are not the craziest parts of this film. That honour goes to all the shameless product placement that is trotted out to the audience, including Hoda Kotb and the always-annoying Jimmy Fallon (both employees of NBC, the sister company of Universal, the film’s distributor), an upscale blender, designer sunglasses, Apple, the Grammy Awards, a couple of teenage-centric social media companies and, most importantly, JLo herself. Fans of hers will no doubt delight in seeing her sing and dance through this exercise in self-promotion where a number of her neatly toned body parts are clearly on display.

Thankfully, Lopez and Wilson have good chemistry together but the dim-witted script leaves Wilson to do not much more than mope around for nearly two hours while Lopez parades around in a series of outfits from a form-fitting red dress to a 95 lb. wedding gown. The film’s humour, what little there is, is left to Silverman and Stephen Willem (NURSE JACKIE), the latter of whom plays the high school’s music teacher and über Kat Valdez fan. Maluma, meanwhile, should give up any dreams he may have of being an actor.

MARRY ME is as dumb as you think it is. Unless you’re a JLo or Maluma fan, you can safely give it a miss.

MARRY ME opens in Hong Kong on Thursday, April 28th.

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