Adapted from a webcomic of the same name by Bobby Crosby, Marry Me is bringing that early aughts JLo romantic comedy to 2022, and I’m here of it. Marry Me is directed by Kat Coiro from a screenplay by John Rogers, Tami Sagher, and Harper Dill. The film stars Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, John Bradley, Sarah Silverman, Chloe Coleman, Michelle Buteau, and Utkarsh Ambudkar.
Marry Me is a bombastic rom-com focused on musical superstar Kat Valdez and a math teacher, Charlie Gilbert. When Kat finds out her boyfriend Bastian (Maluma) cheated on her right before they’re supposed to be married in front of a packed concert, she looks into the crowd and says yes to the stranger holding a “Marry Me” sign, Charlie. The twist? Well, outside the whole marry a stranger because you’re embarrassed and breaking down part, Charlie is only at Kat’s concert for his best friend and daughter Lou.
This premise is absurd in the best rom-com ways, and thankfully it also has layers. The first is that Kat and Charlie are from different worlds, and the second is that they have different ideologies regarding social media. So while we get a story about how two people can embrace a spontaneous moment and allow love to bloom, we also explore social media and its role. While Kat has vested every sense of herself into mini-episodes on YouTube and Instagram Live, she’s also relied on everyone around her to take care of every little thing. On the other side, you have Charlie, who hates social media and pushes Kat to do things for herself.
Instead of just pushing “social media is bad” as a b-plot, Marry Me gives a small look at meeting in the middle. Kat learns to embrace the world around her, not just the one curated by her assistants or created for her fans, and Charlie learns that social media can be a tool for connecting with his students and helping them out too. This b-plot also helps add a backdrop to their growing love story as they step into each other’s worlds, learn from each other, and of course, grow closer than they would have ever thought.
Marry Me is romantic in the way that the rom-com formula permits, but it’s charming to watch, thanks to Lopez and Wilson’s chemistry. They’re funny and cute, and somehow they take a straightforward plot and imbue it with humor and care that works. Lopez is back on her 2000s rom-com charisma, and I’m thankful for it. The sweetness in Marry Me is also present because of Charlie and later Kat’s relationship with his daughter Lou. Often in rom-coms, the leads’ kids fall to the wayside but Marry Me keeps Lou front and center.
All of that said, the real star of Marry Me is the costuming department. Every on-stage outfit one-ups the next, and the glitz and grandeur on screen is not only beautiful but fun too. Even Lopez’s outfits throughout the film are looks that either make me want to buy them (especially her crop tops and athleisure) or at the very least add them to a Pinterest board—the hats not included.
Finally, Marry Me is packed with original songs by Jennifer Lopez and, to a lesser extent, Maluma. If you had told me that Marry Me was a film to accompany a new album release, I would believe you, because there is a Kat Valdez song playing all the time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. The songs are earworms, and the Spanish tracks are legitimately good. While the constant play of “Marry Me” may have been buried inside my brain, the rest of the song usage in the film serves a purpose to the story. Even though this film is very much a JLo overload at points, I can’t say that any of the songs feel out of place. That said, if you’re not a fan of Lopez’s music career, then this film isn’t for you.
I’m a sucker for rom-coms, and more particularly the JLo subgenre we got for a span of years, and I know I’m not alone. Marry Me is what it needs to be. It’s light and charming and just the right amount of sweet. The drama isn’t too overblown, and ultimately the absurdity helps push a wholesome love story that you can get invested in. Bring me more 2000s JLo in 2022, and I’ll be happy.
Marry Me is streaming exclusively on Peacock and in Theaters February 11, 2022.
- Rating - 7/107/10
I’m a sucker for rom-coms, and more particularly the JLo subgenre we got for a span of years, and I know I’m not alone. Marry Me is what it needs to be. It’s light and charming and just the right amount of sweet. The drama isn’t too overblown, and ultimately the absurdity helps push a wholesome love story that you can get invested in. Bring me more 2000s JLo in 2022 and I’ll be happy.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.