I really wanted to like “Marry Me,” a threadbare, undercooked rom-com released just in time for Valentine’s Day. At the risk of sounding like a disgruntled curmudgeon, I found this film to be neither funny nor romantic. Instead of embracing the absurdity of the ridiculous premise (based on the graphic novel by Bobby Crosby), director Kat Coiro decides to play it straight. Coupled with the clunky chemistry between the two leads, this makes for a humorless, tired, unconvincing romance.
Celebrity power couple Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) and Bastian (Maluma are preparing for the superstar event of the year: their wedding. Wanting to create a true spectacle, they have planned to marry in front of their devoted fans during a concert. Knowing nothing about Kat or her music, divorced math teacher Charlie (Owen Wilson) is dragged to the live show by his daughter (Chloe Coleman) and best friend Parker (Sarah Silverman).
Right before the nuptials are set to begin, Kat learns that her fiancée has been cheating on her, and decides to call off the wedding. Heartbroken, she walks out on stage and impulsively picks a random guy out of the crowd to marry. That man happens to be Charlie. They get married on stage in what Charlie views as a publicity stunt, but as the pair spend more time together, a real romance begins to bloom.
The idea of strangers finding true love is a classic premise, and the initial twist does add a bit of fun. But that’s where the joy stops, as the rest of the film is overpowered with by-the-book predictability. There isn’t enough story to hold the film together, so there is a bunch of filler in the form of musical performances. This movie feels like an extended JLo music video with far too many singing scenes. She’s a talented artist, but it’s just too much. A movie with more substance doesn’t need to cheapen itself as a vehicle to sell the soundtrack of awful original songs (or for that matter, including shameless product placement that feels like a commercial for major brands like Apple, VitaMix blenders, and Coach handbags).
“Marry Me” is the type of film that needs to turn the charm dial up to 11, but stops at a 3.