We seemed to have collectively downplayed Valentine’s Day in the most recent years as we all know not everyone celebrates or even likes the day. We get it. It’s not that we don’t celebrate love in all its beautiful forms but it’s all the pressures that comes with the Hallmark holiday. Of course, the last couple of years have been challenging. So, this may be a reason why some of us are looking for something fun and gooey. MARRY ME opens in theatres this Valentine’s Day weekend and rom-com movie fans have something to look forward to.

MARRY ME stars Jennifer Lopez as the super star Kat Valdez, Owen Wilson plays the nice dorky single dad, math teacher, Charlie Gilbert, and Latino singer, Maluma plays pop star Bastian, Kat’s fiancé.

You may have seen the trailer and that pretty much explains the storyline. There are no surprises on how this rom-com plays out. Kat and Bastian’s highly anticipated wedding would be witnessed by over 20 million viewers worldwide. Just as they are ready to take the vows in her stunning designer wedding dress created by Lebanese couture designer Zuhair Murad, a video clip of Bastian and Kat’s assistant goes viral thanks to Page Six.

In the moment, Kat spots the unassuming Charlie who was in the audience at her concert. He was only there  because of a last minute free ticket from his coworker Parker (Sarah Silverman- who has the best lines in the film btw) but has no clue who Kat is. They spontaneously get married. What could possibly go wrong?

(from left) Parker (Sarah Silverman), Lou (Chloe Coleman) and Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) in Marry Me, directed by Kat Coiro. Photo credit: Barry Wetcher/Universal Pictures

Needless to say, her team of handlers go into overdrive on how to deal with the mess. Pay off Charlie and hold him to a non-disclosure agreement and hope it all blows over quickly? Nah. That’s no fun.

In the most unlikely play of events, they decide to move forward and “get to know each other” at least for a few months. Both of them know they have nothing in common… at first. You saw that coming, right?

(from left, center) Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) and Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) in Marry Me, directed by Kat Coiro. Photo credit: Barry Wetcher/Universal Pictures

Charlie Gilbert is the complete opposite of Kat Valdez. He’s a high school math teacher and head of the school’s math club. He goes to bed early and loves bowling. He’s also a single dad with a 12 year old daughter, Lou (Chloe Coleman) who’s starting to find her footing in life. Insert the dad jokes and awkward moments.

Kat and Charlie get a taste of the other person’s world. Kat’s world is seen through the lens at all times. Her every move is documented on social media. Her endorsement obligations are over the top. Charlie, on the other hand still has a flip phone. When he’s thrusted into the world of red carpets and interviews — he’s a deer in the headlights. He’s not comfortable in this world but his natural charming innocence wins.

Kat, on the other hand, finds his simple life refreshing. When she tries her hand at “doing everything” without her entourage to support her, things don’t go as well as planned — but this is where they lost me briefly. Doesn’t know how to open the door to one of her lavish homes and throws a rock at the window  of her multi-million dollar home — who’s gonna clean that up, girl? You?

At about three quarters into the film, Kat is faced with a choice. Bastian enters back into her life. What should she do? Well, you can safely place your bets on which road she decides to take at this point.

This is 100% rom-com with the stellar soundtrack (I’ve already downloaded on my iPhone and it’s unapologetically on repeat — just ask my husband lol). Holy smokes! Both JLo and Maluma perform several times in this film and it won’t be to anyone’s surprise that the title song, Marry Me, will be a popular one for upcoming weddings. The ballad performance of this song filmed in Madison Square Garden is absolutely breathtaking.

(from left) Bastian (Maluma) and Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) in Marry Me, directed by Kat Coiro. Photo credit: Barry Wetcher/Universal Pictures

I’m a fan of JLo movies. Wedding Planner and Maid in Manhattan are my feel good films. Maybe it’s the unlikely outcomes and underdogs that draw me in I love. This film will be added to that rotation. Yes, they are sappy and predictable but sometimes we just want that. This lady works hard and at 52 year of age…she’s a Queen! But the story line and her character in MARRY ME is closer to JLo’s real life than any other film she’s done. The fame, the relationships, the awesome wardrobe, all under the watchful eyes of the tabloids and the public. All too real. At one point her character explains that she believes in marriage — in the film, this would be her fourth. Hear that Affleck?

She also questions why women feel like they have to wait for the man to make the move.  Not sure why she had to spell that out. There are a few lines in the film  that make you wonder if she hasn’t included them as her personal thoughts, intentionally. At one point she also says “let’s take the fairy tale off the table” perhaps suggesting that while we may all be looking for the ideal in our Mr. (or Mrs.) Right,  that person may just present themselves in unexpected ways. Love will find a way to you. Be open to all possibilities. But start with loving yourself. All the expected messages are securely there.

The marketing machine behind this film has been on full tilt leading up to the opening weekend. The release of the soundtrack, behind the scenes content, social media, and appearances including on Jimmy Fallon’s show–a well orchestrated reciprocal agreement, I’m almost certain.

Oh, and something hard to miss is ALL the product placements.  This one is loaded  with Vitamix, Guess and Coach getting obvious screen time. Also a few high end luxury and sports cars spotted to help lure guys into the theatres?

I doubt the film will win over many critics but for fans of JLo and rooting for the underdog (this time it’s Charlie and not her character), MARRY ME will do just fine. And the music is great! Except for Church. That one is weird. But this film is what you would expect. No need to over analyze it. If you’re looking for something compelling, then look elsewhere. If you’re looking to feel mushy, this will satisfy.

MARRY ME will be in theatres in Canada beginning February 11, 2022. In the US you will find it in theatres and on Peacock.

Here’s the official trailer, if you haven’t seen it yet…


Here’s the performance of the title track on Jimmy Fallon…