Marry Me movie review: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson take inspiration from Notting Hill in formulaic fairy-tale romance

Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson star in Marry Me, a disappointing romantic comedy inspired by Notting Hill.
PHOTO: Universal Pictures

2.5/5 stars

Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson head up Marry Me, an ineffective romantic comedy that tries to recapture the spirit of the Richard Curtis-scripted Notting Hill, which asked whether a famous actress could date a civilian.

In Marry Me, Wilson takes the everyman role. He plays Charlie, a single-parent maths teacher who gets dragged along by his friend (Sarah Silverman) to a concert by Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez), a megastar singer who is set to wed her musician boyfriend Bastian (Colombian singer-songwriter Maluma) on stage.

With the glamorous couple also set to perform their latest single, Marry Me, it looks to be a match made in PR heaven – but moments before their nuptials, Valdez sees a video that’s about to go viral of Bastian cheating on her with her assistant.

Dazed, she goes out on stage and spies Charlie, who is holding a Marry Me sign given to him by his daughter. In a moment of madness, she takes him up on the offer.

“Nothing else has worked,” she shrugs. “Maybe this will.” Up on stage, she marries a rather stunned Charlie there and then.

John Bradley (left) and Sarah Silverman in a still from Marry Me.
PHOTO: Universal Pictures

Directed by Kat Coiro (who is directing She-Hulk for Marvel), Marry Me comes straight from the comic series of the same name by Bobby Crosby – and there is certainly something two-dimensional about the whole enterprise.

As Charlie gets thrown into this pop star’s world, he soon comes to realise her entire life is a reality-TV show – a cameraman trails around after her “banking” material for her fans, who lap up every move she makes.

While this is mildly interesting – not least as a singer-actress like Lopez must know something about living in a glass bubble – the trials and tribulations that Kat and Charlie endure are all horribly predictable.

Maluma (left) and Lopez in a still from Marry Me.
PHOTO: Universal Pictures

Her manager (Game of Thrones' John Bradley, given much less to do here than in Moonfall, released last week) wants to buy Charlie off, while the fact Bastian is still loitering on the scene suggests the course of true love isn’t going to run smooth.

Although Lopez and Wilson, who previously starred together in Anaconda, make for an amiable enough couple, there is never enough jeopardy in the story to really make you care whether Kat and Charlie will survive.

At least the soundtrack – with songs co-written and performed by Lopez and Maluma – is a memorable and cheery one. But otherwise, this is fairly formulaic stuff. You’d be better off watching Notting Hill again.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.