Marry Me Review: A Fantastic Musical Romance

Marry Me hits every high note as a fantasy romance and musical that will leave you swooning. Jennifer Lopez shines as an embarrassed and heartbroken superstar singer who marries a random fan at a concert. Owen Wilson plays the surprise spouse with a down-to-earth affability and comically realistic reactions. The film is primarily a showcase for Lopez’s immense talent, but smartly never lets her overshadow Wilson. It succeeds in pairing a seemingly average guy with an impossibly attractive and famous woman.

Diva Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) and hunky Latino singer Bastian (Maluma) are social media’s most celebrity couple. Their hit song “Marry Me” has stormed the charts as the year’s biggest hit. Kat and Bastian decide to get married live on stage after delivering an epic performance of the song in New York City. Meanwhile, Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), a divorced middle school math teacher, wants a closer relationship with his twelve-year-old daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman). She’s now attending Charlie’s school and wants distance from her doting dad. Charlie’s best friend and fellow teacher, Parker (Sarah Silverman), gets them all tickets for the Marry Me concert.

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Kat gives a raucous and cheering audience an incredible dance routine. She changes into her stunning Marry Me wedding dress for the big moment with Bastian. But an eerie quiet overtakes the crowd as everyone looks at their phones. Kat’s manager, Collin (John Bradley), gives her the shocking news before she goes back on stage. Page Six has released a video of Bastian cheating with her assistant. A despondent Kat looks out on her sea of fans… just as Parker hands Charlie her Marry Me poster. She sees him holding the sign, and to everyone’s astonishment, asks Charlie to marry her. A startled Charlie says “yes” and kisses her passionately. Setting social media on fire as everyone tries to comprehend the impossible turn of events.

Based on a graphic novel by Bobby Crosby, Marry Me takes the plot in a clever direction. Kat and Charlie decide to stay married for a few weeks. He’s a kind guy that wants to help her overcome Bastian’s public humiliation. Charlie has a flip phone, isn’t on social media, and couldn’t care less about being famous. He’s thrust into Kat’s world of countless sycophants, stalking paparazzi, and hilarious product endorsements. But Kat also becomes a part of Charlie’s life. She’s smitten by his warmth and genuine care for his students. Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson are perfectly cast in these roles. They are entirely believable as lovers found by fate and chance.

Marry Me is loaded with elaborate musical numbers in Spanish and English. Jennifer Lopez fans will certainly get their money’s worth. Colombian singer Maluma, who co-stars as Bastian, also holds his own with several bilingual songs. I am not usually a fan of this musical genre but was not distracted. The soundtrack is an integral part of the story, characters, and overall experience. I must admit to occasionally bobbing my head to the groove.

Director Kat Coiro, known primarily for her episodic TV work, does a great job here. She gives Jennifer Lopez star treatment but humanizes her as a woman who wants to be loved. The flash, glitz, and glamour are fun to see. But the quieter moments with Lopez and Wilson together will warm the coldest and most skeptical hearts this Valentine’s Day.

Marry Me is produced by Perfect World Pictures and Nuyorican Productions. It will have an exclusive theatrical release on February 11th from Universal Pictures.

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Julian Roman
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Film critic, raconteur, praying for dolphins to grow thumbs and do better.

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