‘Shotgun Marriage ceremony’ evaluation: Jennifer Lopez saves the day in an motion comedy that solely simply delivers

Die Exhausting at a vacation spot wedding ceremony” is what I wrote in my notes whereas watching Shotgun Marriage ceremony, and what have you learnt — that phrase seems within the advertising supplies verbatim. It’s good, isn’t it, when a movie delivers just about what it guarantees? 

As an alternative of a retired cop, our unlikely heroes trapped within the party-turned-hostage scenario are Darcy (Jennifer Lopez) and Tom (Josh Duhamel), whose rich Latino and gauche white Midwestern households, respectively, collect on a non-public island within the Philippines for his or her lavish wedding ceremony. They’re deeply in love, however Tom has been consumed by each tiny element of the massive day, whereas unbiased big-shot lawyer Darcy feels a chill nipping at her heels and by no means had wished an enormous manufacturing of a marriage within the first place. The evening earlier than, she’s actually begging him for intercourse (in a sweet-and-spicy scene that can have you ever saying “You understand J-Lo is FIFTY-THREE?” out loud whether or not you’re watching alone or not) whereas he’s on the ground hot-gluing twinkle lights to the pineapple centerpieces.

However simply as their points come to a head the morning of, the island is swarmed by pirates in apocalyptic arts-and-crafts masks and their motley bunch of visitors taken hostage within the resort pool, and the bride and groom should fumble their manner throughout the island to stage a rescue. Naturally, amusingly violent chaos ensues.


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It has a few of the sly, chaotic vitality of Recreation Evening, John Francis Daley’s underrated 2018 motion farce with an peculiar, loving however “caught” couple at its heart you do truly need to root for. However the place Recreation Evening wrings comedy out of its most violent moments, Shotgun Marriage ceremony director Jason Moore (Pitch Excellent) doesn’t get the tone proper in its makes an attempt to make the hazard really feel real whereas nonetheless protecting issues gentle. 

2023 is clearly the yr of giving Jennifer Coolidge a gun(Opens in a new window). Sure, it’s enjoyable watching Jennifer Coolidge making an attempt to mow down baddies with an assault rifle — simply. Nevertheless it’s not truly enjoyable watching the pirates spray bullets on the edges of a trapped crowd and terrified hostage/visitors, shrieking and whimpering in very convincing concern. These moments tipped over the skinny line the movie manages to stroll in different moments of actual violence which are performed for laughs, like Tom’s shocked processing after he semi-accidentally kills a pirate. 

Credit score: Prime Video

The movie’s greatest crime, although, is the proportion of often charismatic performers who’re wasted or miscast. Comedy icon Cheech Marin is barely there as Darcy’s rich father; D’Arcy Carden doesn’t fairly have the malevolent ethereality required for the function of his hippie girlfriend; there are severely diminishing returns on an initially promising Lenny Kravitz as Darcy’s absurdly clean and unwelcome ex; and a promising, sparky B-romance between You’re The Worst‘s Desmin Borges and The Flight Attendant‘s Callie Hernandez sputters and by no means will get resolved. 


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After which there’s Coolidge. Her whole profession, not to mention her latest dream award-season run, has proven that she will say actually something and make it humorous even when she’s simply being herself, and Moore has stated(Opens in a brand new window) that she was free to improvise on set and did so. So why does virtually each line she has land with a thud? It’s largely the fault of the script, which saves its funniest traces for everybody however her (her Want.com(Opens in a brand new window) Vin Diesel line as she shoulders that machine gun? “No person fucks with my household!”) — however it additionally appears like she’s been stuffed right into a generic embarrassing-mom function that unforgivably stifles her pure irrepressibility. 

Additionally unforgivable? Casting her as Duhamel’s mom when she’s barely 11 years his senior. C’mon, Hollywood.

Jennifer Coolidge, a white blonde woman with her hair in curlers.

She deserves so, so significantly better.
Credit score: Prime Video

The motion is generally enjoyable, although it will get slightly shaggy in the direction of the top (however probably the most absurdly ugly comedy demise I’ve seen since Violent Evening) and even Darcy and Tom’s unlikely motion hero standing is semi-backed up by their backstories (Tom is a minor league baseball participant, for instance, so regardless of being a bit goofy he’s match and has good hand-eye coordination) whereas additionally protecting issues relatable for comedy causes (Darcy faints on the sight of blood, and their cobbled-together schemes hardly ever play out as deliberate). 

It’s additionally refreshing to see two — admittedly very genetically blessed — folks of their 50s because the central couple in a marriage film, with genuinely horny chemistry, and to have zero chat about infants or youngsters, particularly given the title. And let’s face it, what we’re actually right here for is that inevitable shot of Lopez along with her battered wedding ceremony costume torn artfully right down to the bones, toting the titular weapon. When it will get there, it’s onerous to not be impressed. It’s her star energy — and her wildly underrated potential to raise mid-tier materials along with her Marilyn-like sparkle and comedic timing — that save Shotgun Marriage ceremony from being a complete misfire.

Shotgun Marriage ceremony is now streaming on Prime Video.(Opens in a brand new window)