Kat Coiro makes a return to features after spending the last few years directing in television in Universal Pictures Marry Me. Kat Valdez (Lopez) is half of the sexiest celebrity power couple on Earth, along with hot new music supernova Bastian (Maluma). As Kat and Bastian's inescapable hit single, "Marry Me," climbs the charts, they are about to be wed before a live audience of their fans in a ceremony that will be streamed live across multiple platforms.
His daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman) and his best friend (Sarah Silverman) have dragged divorced high-school math teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) to this concert/ceremony. When Kat learns, seconds before the ceremony, that Bastian has cheated on her with her assistant, her life turns left as she has a meltdown on stage, questioning love, truth, and loyalty. As her gossamer world falls away, she locks eyes with a stranger—a face in the crowd.
If what you know lets you down, then perhaps what you do not know is the answer, and so, in a moment of inspired insanity, Kat chooses to marry Charlie – the face in the crowd. What begins as an impulsive reaction, evolves into an unexpected romance. However, as forces conspire to separate them, the universal question arises: Can two people from such different worlds bridge the gulf between them and build a place where they both can belong?
Harper Dill, along with John Rogers & Tami Sagher, pen Marry Me's script, which is an adaptation of the same-titled graphic by Bobby Crosby. One of the first things I want to point out is that, in essence, Marry Me is a remake of the 1999 romantic comedy Notting Hill starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. The critical difference between the two, outside of across the pond setting, is that Jennifer Lopez's character Katalina "Kat" Valdez is a singer. Naturally, there is a valid argument that Mrs. Lopez is merely portraying herself in the film; however, if there is one thing that Jenny from the block can do, it is selling a romantic comedy.
Starting with 2001's, The Wedding Planner, Jennifer Lopez constructed a successful niche for herself in the genre, and she brings her natural aura to the role of Katalina "Kat" Valdez. The script wisely avoids turning Kat into a vain character; instead, it paints her as a superstar with flaws. That said, Marry Me gives Lopez plenty of chances to tape into the moment’s fans love about her. Throughout the film, there were numerous moments where I thought I knew where the film would go, but I ended up being surprised.
One of the surprises is Collin and Melissa's supporting characters, portrayed by John Bradley and comedian Michelle Buteau. The former is Kat's agent, while the latter is one of her assistants. I half expected one of them to be a villain, but those moments never came. Instead, these characters, as well as Bastian, are sent to the background. While the actors portraying the roles do the work required for a romantic comedy, I liked this angle, since it brings a solid focus on the relationship between Kat and Charlie.
As our male lead Charlie, Owen Wilson is more laid back in the role, and I bought into his portrayal as an out-of-touch teacher who is not on social media. The writers treat the pairing as a friendship and slowly pull away layers to become a romance.
Arriving concurrently in theaters and on Peacock, Marry Me does follow a well-known formula. However, the formula works, and for either a date night or girl's night, I recommend the film as a one-time watch.
Final Grade: B
Marry Me opens in theaters tonight and will begin streaming on Peacock tomorrow 11 February.