Guns! Violence! Nuptials!
BQB here with a review of J-Lo’s rom-com action flick, Shotgun Wedding.
Two observations at the outset:
#1 – It was a rather disappointing, lackluster holiday season when it came to movies. Usually, Hollywood brings their A-game during the holidays, but nothing really seemed worthy to go to the theater (I thought the first Avatar was overrated so I wasn’t going to sit through 3 hours of the second) and usually the streaming services put out a holiday blockbuster or two but nothing drew me in, so my viewing low these past few months has been lackluster. (The good news is I discovered Yellowstone but more on that in a future post.
#2 – Most streaming movies have turned into hot crap on a stick. In the beginning, Netflix brought a lot of good stuff but then over the years, it became weaker and more formulaic than network television. Show after show that looks like it was designed by a committee of people who are going out of their way to not offend anyone. Either that or they pay big money for stars then save on the writing. IMO, Amazon has been the worst offender as much of their schlock is unwatchable. Ergo, when Amazon makes a good movie like this, it’s almost like I can’t help patting them on the head and giving them a cookie for an unexpected job well down.
Onto the review.
Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel play Darcy and Tom, a couple about to get married in a luxury resort in the Philippines. J-Lo has either discovered the fountain of youth and is keeping its location a secret from the rest of us, or she works out like a monkey on crack and has literally never ingested a carb or sugar in her life, or a combination of the two. Meanwhile, Josh looks more his age but that’s ok because he’s still a handsome SOB.
I complained about this in my review of Ticket to Paradise and I’ll do it again. Apparently there’s a new trend for aging stars in their 50s to pretend to be 40 and I resent that because I’m in my 40s and I remember seeing all these people in movies when I was a teenager. Just embrace your age, stars. No one cares if you’re playing people who get married in their 50s. People find love when they find love.
I will admit though that J-Lo is well preserved enough to pass for 40. Bonus points as the film gives us some gratuitous shots of her infamous tushy, which is a national treasure unto itself. J-Lo’s booty really should be put on display in the Smithsonian.
Typical rom-com fare. The couple fights on the eve of their wedding, bringing up absurd, nonsensical fears as to why the relationship might not work. The in-laws do not get along. Darcy/J’Lo’s father, played by 70’s pot comedy icon Cheech Marin, is super rich and complains that the resort is a dump and he could have thrown a better wedding if the kids had taken his money. Tom’s mother, played by Jennifer Coolidge, is a mother hen who smothers yet embarrasses everyone.
Sidenote – Jennifer Coolidge is really running victory laps around Hollywood lately. Between this movie, the Watcher, and the White Lotus, she must be making bank, always playing more or less the same character i.e. the old lady with a dirty mind and says naughty things. Irony is I don’t think J-Cool is old enough to be Duhamel’s mother. More like his older sister at best, but again this is Hollywood and no one wants to admit their real ages.
Long story short? OK. When a squad of pirates attack the resort, looking to hold the wedding party hostage in exchange for ransom, it is up to Tom, Darcy and the in-laws to set their comedic bickering aside and save the day, kicking pirate booty in fun action scenes, each more outlandish than the next.
Will it win Oscars? No. Will you remember it a year from now? Maybe, but not really in a OMG that movie was so good way but more in a that movie was fun but now that I have seen it I can put it on to entertain me while I clean my house sort of way. There are lots of pretty colors, kick-ass explosions, the occasional lesson about how marriage and romance is a commitment and you take the good with the bad.
J-Lo really is one of the last true movie stars, beautiful as she is charming. To her credit, it is funny when someone so beautiful rolls around in the muck, gets her hands dirty, is put into comedic situations and made to say silly things. I don’t think one of her middle-aged competitor beauties, say, the illustrious Angelina Jolie, could score as many laughs in a rom com. Pop culture historians such as myself will remind you that J-Lo’s early days were spent dancing on the set of In Living Color, so I doubt one can spend that much time with the Wayans Brothers without some of the funny rubbing off onto them, and the early flicks that made her uber famous were rom-coms. She was a rom-com staple in the late 90s/early 00s so she’s going back to her roots here, but now with action.
Oh and rock star Lenny Kravitz puts down his guitar to stop by as Darcy’s old flame, invited to the wedding by Cheech – there’s a whole subplot about how Cheech likes Lenny more and wishes Darcy were marrying him instead. Sigh. Those pesky in-laws.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Amazon hits a home run here but I have to admit sometimes I wonder if a subscription service that at best, wows me with one, maybe two movies tops per year is worth it.