Opinion: JLo’s ‘Marry Me’ Isn’t Trying To Do the Most, and That’s Why I Loved It
I couldn’t stop smiling watching Jennifer Lopez’s “Marry Me.”
I’m not much of a romantic but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film so earnest and sweet simultaneously — and “Marry Me” is serving up all those feels and more. It’s exactly as billed, a rom-com with predictable plot points, actors we love, and a comforting moral. Here, love conquers all.
Or is the moral here to never give up on love? It really doesn’t matter! What I loved about this film is that it’s not that deep — and I’m sure we can all agree on the sentiment that a lighthearted viewing experience is much appreciated during these heavy times.
The plot is a loose riff on Jennifer Lopez’s public persona. She plays the fictional, world-famous pop phenom Kat Valdez. Kat’s got all the money a person could hope for, decked out in beautiful clothes, living in amazing penthouses, taken care of by a staff that does everything from operating her appliances to managing her social media.
But she’s unlucky in love. Despite her beauty and success, she keeps picking the wrong men who don’t love her faithfully and fully.
When her partner betrays her trust, Kat picks a stranger from the crowd at her concert — Owen Wilson’s Charlie Gilbert — to marry. He’s literally just a “guy in a windbreaker” as someone hilariously remarks. And he’s definitely what one might think of when envisioning “a square,” aka a single-father and math teacher whose favorite song is a show tune from “Camelot.”
Yet, they make it work! Gently nudging each other to evolve on their path to love.
Really though, “Marry Me” is about watching Jennifer Lopez remind us why she is THE Jennifer Lopez. Yes, she’s beautiful, looking just as heavenly in five-pound falsies and designer get-ups as she does with her gently tousled hair in Owen Wilson’s button up. Having the leading lady wear her lover’s buttoned up shirt is a romantic comedy rule that must never be broken, and Lopez looks as fabulous as ever doing so.
She sings and dances, somehow making a peek-a-boo crucifix leotard look sexy, all the while getting the titular “Marry Me” tune stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
But mostly it’s her charcater’s pure charisma that had me smiling through the movie. Kat lives this charmed life where everyone falls in love with her everywhere she goes, which is totally believable for JLo herself. She’s beautiful and approachable. Strong and vulnerable. Resourceful and coddled. In short, she’s just the sort of leading lady you can’t help but root for.
“Marry Me” is a pleasant escape, an unapologetic rom-com where idealism triumphs. It’s a joyous pop song of a movie and I truly loved to see it.
“Marry Me” is currently in theaters and streaming on Peacock February 11.
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