Marry Me (2022)

“We have to embrace the spontaneity of the moment.”

Blending your standard Rom-Com tropes with timely commentary on celebrity culture, Marry Me appeals to those with old-fashioned sensibilities, as well as to those who binge watch 90 Day Fiancé from the comfort of their couch. There’s a little something for everyone here, and it shows us how love doesn’t exist on a strict timeline. Good things take time and will happen when they happen, so long as we’re ready and willing when the opportunity – or in this case the surprise proposal – presents itself. Marry Me shows us how it’s better to live with your actions than it is to dwell with regret on inaction. That it can be better to take a chance and say yes than it is to say no.

They meet at a concert. Her concert, specifically. She’s worldwide superstar Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) and he’s math teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson). Kat’s on tour with her fiancé and fellow performing artist Bastian (Maluma). Charlie’s just there to convince his daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman) and friend/co-worker Parker (Sarah Silverman) that he’s not afraid to get back out into the world long after his divorce. But as is played out in the trailer, Kat’s heart is broken on stage in front of the world, and she looks visibly shaken knowing that the headlines will be about yet another failed relationship. Charlie enters her eyeline, holding the sign handed to him by Lou reading the title of her latest smash hit “Marry Me,” and invites him up to exchange vows. It’s as far-fetched as it sounds, and yet it somehow works. The everyman is now the husband of the world’s biggest star. What could possibly go wrong?

The answer to that question turns out to be: not very much, actually. And that’s why I was so drawn in by this movie. It’s about two different people from two drastically different worlds who are kind and considerate. Charlie goes along with the ruse not because Kat is famous and beautiful, but because he doesn’t want to see another human being hurting. Kat appreciates that Charlie sees through the menagerie of photoshoots and paparazzi, and she helps him reenter the world he’s otherwise withdrawn from. They meet halfway, just like the best relationships do, and they challenge each other to grow. Elevating the film even further are the meta moments in which the script reflects Lopez’s own life in the spotlight. She’s lived this before, searching for her happily ever after, and something tells me she was able to help ground the picture in reality despite being a fairy tale.

If there’s anything to take away form the many lessons on love throughout Marry Me, I’d argue that none is more important than how necessary it is be present in the little moments. How grand gestures are all good and well, but that showing up and allowing your actions to speak louder than words are what build the foundation for a forever future. Sure, there are tangents that miss here and there – albeit very few – just as there are bound to be in any relationship. But when the starting point is as strong as it is here, there’s no place to go but up. What a wonderful and warm picture. It makes you believe in love again. I can get on board with that.

“If you want something different, you have to do something different.”

Rating: 4 out of 5

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