Marry Me - Openness to Surprise

Marry Me - Openness to Surprise

Romantic comedies have been pretty sad of late and "Marry Me" doesn't do much to change that. Having said that, the film does have its sweet moments and just might be a reminder to be on the lookout for the unexpected things in life. Sometimes, those surprises are just what God uses to get our attention.


Rom-coms are formulaic and "Marry Me" checks all the boxes, almost as if a computer spit out the main points. The movie smacks of "Notting Hill" and if you didn't know better, you might just see Jennifer Lopez, "just a girl," standing in front of a boy, Owen Wilson, "asking him to love her."


The contrivance in this film is off the charts. Kat Valdez (Lopez) and her fiancé, Bastian (Columbian pop-star, Maluma), have recorded a duet together called "Marry Me." To top off her concert tour the couple plans on tying the knot on stage and live-streamed in front of 20 million fans. However, moments before going on-stage, Kat discovers that Bastian has been cheating on her with her assistant. Losing it in the limelight, she spots a guy holding a sign that says "marry me" and she calls him up on stage and marries him right there.



Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez in "Marry Me."  © 2022 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved. 


The guy is Charlie Gilbert (Wilson), a divorced, middle school math teacher, whose 12-year-old daughter, Lou (Chloe Coleman), has dragged him to the concert with Charlie's friend and the school councilor, Parker (Sarah Silverman). She's also the typical "gay best friend." Charlie goes along with the whole wedding thing, not because he wants to but in order to spare the thrice-divorced Kat even more humiliation.


Neither of them are under any illusion that their marriage is real but the managers around Kat convince Charlie to hang out with Kat for a few months until the media backlash dissipates. Now we get all those rom-com moments: the one where the "normal" guy realizes he can't handle the glitzy life; the one where the superstar realizes she could use a little more "normality" in her life; the one where the superstar visits the "normal" guy's school and makes him look really cool; the one where the cheater fiancé tries to win her back, etc., etc., etc.



Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez in "Marry Me."  © 2022 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved. 


There are some really sweet moments in the film, mostly from Owen Wilson's aw-shucks personality that he imbues in Charlie which appeals to Kat, who is followed around by a camera at every moment to satisfy social media demands. When he suggests they kick out the camera guy and just hang out, wonderful things happen as they get to know each other.



Wilson, Lopez, and Chloe Coleman in "Marry Me."  © 2022 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved. 


Viewers will want to watch out, however, for a quite offensive scene near the beginning of the film. Kat's performing a song at the concert called "Church" with awful lyrics and the performer surrounded by scantily clad dancers dressed as nuns and priests, gyrating rather obscenely. If a director, in this case Kat Coiro, chooses to put a scene like this in a romantic comedy, the bad taste lingers.


If there was to be a silver lining in this film, I would say that it encourages people to be open to the unexpected. As people of faith, we believe that God can be found in the surprising things that happen to us or the people we find in our paths, seemingly by accident. But if we believe that God is in charge, then there are no coincidences. If this movie were a reflection of real life (which it obviously is not but let's suspend our disbelief for just a moment), then we might believe that Kat and Charlie were thrown together through God's providence. What does God's providence have in store for you today? Will you be able to see it?






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