The bride-to-be, Kat, in Marry Me
Illustration by Laura Chan-Sing, Ryerson University

‘Marry Me’ Is the Perfect Amount of Corny Without Being Too Much

Although its plot is far-fetched and at times over-the-top, the film contains critical moments that will make your heart smile.

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The bride-to-be, Kat, in Marry Me
Illustration by Laura Chan-Sing, Ryerson University

Although its plot is far-fetched and at times over-the-top, the film contains critical moments that will make your heart smile.

This past Feb. 11th, Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson’s newest rom-com/drama film called “Marry Me (2022)” hit theaters and streaming sites (Peacock) just in time for one of the most love-filled weekends of the year. It’s almost like they planned it that way!

Directed by Kat Coiro, “Marry Me” depicts a comical and heartwarming 21st-century Cinderella-esque love story. It follows superstar Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez), who is set to get married on stage during a huge concert that is also live streaming to millions around the world (20 million, to be exact). However, when Kat learns the truth about her soon-to-be husband Bastian (Maluma) on stage, she does what most would expect — she refrains from marrying the backstabbing cheater.

But Kat surprises as well. Utterly consumed by emotion and caught up in the heat of the moment, Kat spots a stranger (Owen Wilson) in the crowd and chooses to marry him instead. Confused and attempting to look cool to his 12-year-old daughter, Lou (Chloe Coleman), he agrees to the proposal, and boom — Charlie, the nerdy middle school math teacher by day and super dad by night, is awarded pop princess Kat Valdez’s hand in marriage.

The film continues to follow the story of the unlikely pair as they stay bonded in holy matrimony and get to know one another on a deeper, more personal level, while also keeping up an image for the world.

Heading into the theater, I expected something completely different from what I ended up experiencing. I anticipated an unbearably cheesy chick flick that I would inevitably stop paying attention to halfway through its almost two-hour run time. But instead, I was delightfully surprised. Yes, it had its cheesy elements grated throughout; for instance, the social media references and display of emojis on screen will make any viewer slightly cringe. The Federalist even referred to it as a “social media dystopia,” which is very fitting in a way.

But putting these few cringe-worthy minutes aside, the film’s heartwarming moments make up for the social media references that fall short. Observing Charlie’s relationship with Lou, we see a divorced father just trying to do the best with what he has. Amid all the Hollywood hysteria with his new marriage, the moments on the screen of just Charlie and Lou really humanize the film and pull “Marry Me” back down to earth.

While showing its audience this unconventional love story, “Marry Me” also manages to teach its audience members a few lessons — and no, it’s not about math equations.

One of the messages the film portrays is cliche but truthful. “Marry Me” shows audience members that money can’t buy happiness despite society’s standards and expectations. Kat is a global superstar, who seemingly has everything she could ever want — high-end handbags, personal assistants, etc. — but still lacks substantial relationships that can’t be bought with a MasterCard. Throughout the film, Charlie, who didn’t even own a smartphone until he met Kat, forces her to dig deeper within herself. Charlie helps Kat reimagine the beauty and unavoidable ugliness of the world surrounding her, that the white-hot spotlights of Hollywood had been blinding her from.

Kat, on the other hand, teaches Charlie about the opportunities that can be found within the vast world of social networking, allowing him to bring more attention to his students’ math competition and grow as a teacher in the 21st century.

As they learn accessible life tips from one another, they also learn more about each other’s personalities. Perfectly ripped from two sides of the spectrum, Kat and Charlie couldn’t be more different if they tried. But with so much to learn from one another, it in an odd way kind of works and proves that opposites really can attract. With excellent comedic and dramatic performances from J.Lo and Wilson, the quirky, out-of-this-world love story is almost believable in the oddest way.

Although “Marry Me” may sadly and shockingly be snubbed from the Oscars, it has undeniable heart and it’s one of those films that you just can’t help but smile at, even though you can easily guess what will ultimately happen next. With a critic score of 61% on Rotten Tomatoes (as of writing), it seems like the professionals are on the fence about this one, which makes sense. It’s not perfect, but its escapism factor is what drives the film’s moxie. Take it from its impressive audience rating of 92%.

It’s one of those films to watch if you don’t want to think too much and just want to sit along for a slightly corny, lighthearted cinematic rollercoaster. With the rom-com genre thought to have died in the early 2000s and the theaters now combusting with anxiety-inducing action films, “Marry Me” is a refreshing watch in comparison to everything we’ve seen hit our theaters in the past couple of months — and even years, to be honest.

So overall, if you have two hours to spare and need a laugh with a light tug at the heartstrings, “Marry Me” should be added to your watch list. On the other hand, if you don’t have the time, don’t stress, because I watched “Marry Me” so you don’t have to!

Writer Profile

Asiya Robinson

Rowan University
Writing Arts

Asiya Robinson is a bookworm from Deptford, New Jersey, with dreams of an exhilarating writing career. Whether it’s becoming a novelist or journalist, Asiya plans to pen herself an alluring and prosperous tomorrow.

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