Marry Me is now playing in theatres nationwide.
The central proposal (thank you) of Marry Me is an innately silly one – a worldwide superstar, on the utmost of impulses, proposes to a random individual in the audience, and the two begin the most unlikely relationship together. Back in 2012, the original online web comic’s author Bobby Crosby likely felt similar about the possibility of such an occurrence. But living in the absurd world we do now, where hardcore fans of rock bands are subjected to voluntary water sports live on stage, the idea doesn’t seem quite so far fetched. However, what does seem far-fetched is that Marry Me would receive a better critical reception than Sony’s video-game blockbuster Uncharted, while also winning me over.
Marry Me encapsulates a lovable mid-2000s rom-com energy that has sadly dissipated over the last decade. This is in no small part thanks to Kat Coiro knowingly leaning into the cutesy silliness of Crosby’s work for our shared delight. Owen Wilson’s Charlie Gilbert is just irresistibly sweet, a single teacher-father doing the best for his daughter, as though he’s just walked out of the mind of Nora Ephron. Speaking of Ephron, this feels exactly like something she would’ve tackled – it’s clear that in their relationship, Kat is the independently driven pursuer, subverting the traditional man-chasing-woman cliché. Wilson and Lopez have this strangely magnetic odd-couple chemistry, with both pushing the other to try new things and see life differently. Here their polemically oppositional lives somehow coalesce into a youthful sensibility that’s rarely seen in adult on-screen relationships.
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There is a genuinely fascinating story within Marry Me: What happens when an ordinary person is thrust into the global spotlight through their relationship with a superstar? Coiro’s exploration of that is where we find much of the film’s playful silliness, with salt-of-the-earth Charlie forced to get online for the benefit of Kat. Marry Me also manages to handle social media without feeling cringingly outdated. Here, the integration of TikTok and Instagram as Kat’s primary sources of influence feels authentic to her character and our real-world understanding of influencer culture.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a mid-2000s rom-com without the quirky sidekicks. Here Kat is accompanied by teddy-bear manager Colln Calloway, played by GoT’s John Bradley. It’s lovely to see Bradley getting more Hollywood roles, but it is genuinely perplexing to predict where he may appear next. Likewise, Wilson’s sidekick comes in the form of tenaciously endearing lesbian councillor Parker Debbs (Sarah Silverman), the impetus for his introduction to the almighty Kat Valdez.
READ MORE: THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY
One bizarre quirk in the world of Marry Me is that there appears only to be two television channels: Breaking News and Jimmy Fallon. There are multiple instances where Kat turns on the television to find Fallon there, waiting for her like some kind of televisual ghoul. Is this some kind of infinite media loop of news informing Fallon and Fallon informing the news? Has Jimmy Fallon taken over the airwaves as the dominant form of entertainment? There is an oddly high exposure to Fallon throughout Marry Me; however, it does seem to expose the artificiality of the Tonight Show and makes Fallon himself come off as a crude selfish chauvinist more than anything else.
There is little separation between the persona of Kat Valdez and the real-life superstardom of Jennifer Lopez, and as such, J-Lo has many a banger. On My Way and Marry Me are both fantastic, as are her duets with f-boy ex Bastien (Maluma), but neither of them holds a candle to the infectiously-catchy Church. As the pair become more acquainted, we see the typical role-reversal emerge. Here Kat displays an intimate vulnerability, while Charlie understands there is more to Kat than his initial prejudices. In fact, Wilson has got some moves! Many of which will have people hooting and hollering at the screen.
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Marry Me is legitimately one of the biggest surprises of the year. Its pure feel-good romcom magic will bewitch you and have you falling in love with Kat and Charlie’s relationship every step of the way – you’ll bop your head to a Valdez banger. You’ll be unable to stop yourself cracking a slight smile as Charlie puts himself out there for Kat, merely because he knows she needs someone. It is a romantic celebration of all the hallmarks of the mid-2000s rom-com, a genre that, despite all the grief we may have given it, we hold a secret love for deep down.
Marry Me is legitimately one of the biggest surprises of the year. Its pure feel-good romcom magic will bewitch you and have you falling in love with Kat and Charlie’s relationship every step of the way.