Tag Archives: rom com

Movie Review – Shotgun Wedding (2023)

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.

Moving on.

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.

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Movie Review – Ticket to Paradise (2022)

Even the oldsters need love, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of the wacky rom com, Ticket to Paradise.

I gotta be honest. I have avoided this one for the following reasons:

#1 – I dislike most rom coms. Not because of the romance or the comedy or the blending of the two. It’s just while I love all kinds of crazy action sci-fi films with monsters and aliens and spaceships and heroes surviving massive explosions, I find these more believable than two people finding long lasting love despite all the odds, which tells you a lot about my jaded love life, or the lack thereof.

#2 – George Clooney is in his 60s. Julia Roberts is in her mid 50s. Both were in movies when I was a little kid yet they are trying to pull off roles as early to mid 40 somethings who met in college in the late 90s, got married quick, had a kid, then got divorced and spent the last 20 years despising one another. As someone who is in the age range they are playing, someone who did go to college in the late 90s, I kinda resent these oldsters playing early 40 somethings.

Seriously, when they put out the commercial where the kids are dancing and George and Julia are wallflowers till they ask the DJ to play something more their speed so he plays House of Pain’s Jump Around – “Bullshit!” I cried. Bullshit, I say. Pardon my French, but Bullshit. I remember the time when House of Pain was popular, G and J. George, you were killing vampires in From Duck till Dawn and Julia, you were the prostitute with a heart of gold in Pretty woman and I was still in freaking braces so stop it. You two are so far from being young enough to have danced to Jump Around at a college party, you AARP carrying geriatric schmucks.

OK but once we get past that, yeah, it’s actually a charming enough movie.

The plot?

As mentioned above, Georgia (Julia) and David (George) Cotton were college sweethearts who got married right after graduation. Theirs was a fun, whirlwind romance at first but at last, as they got buried by work, bills and responsibilities, they grew to despise and resent one another, each believing the other had cost them opportunities, a great life, a great career, oh the greatness I could have had if I hadn’t met you, never realizing that perhaps their love was the greatness they were seeking all along.

For the past 25 years, they have only stayed in contact for the sake of their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever). As an early scene where they attend Lilly’s law school graduation shows, whenever they are in the same room, they cannot help but heap large portions of insults upon one each other, many of which, to the film’s credit, are funny. The mental gymnastics they go through to blame each other for any little thing that goes wrong is a laugh riot, and sadly, not unlike many a dysfunctional relationship we have all likely seen at some point in our lives.

In true rom com fashion, Kaitlyn visits the tropical paradise of Bali as a post law school romp before she snags a big job at a law firm, yet those plans are derailed when she meets hunky Balinese seaweed farmer Gede (Maxime Bouttier), falls instantly in love, and the two decide to get married a mere two months later.

Naturally, Georgia and David are irate at this notion and so when they fly out to attend the wedding, they pledge to put their differences aside in the name of a truce designed to shut down the wedding at all costs and put Lilly back on the path to being a corporate lawyer.

Comedy hijinx ensue as the duo concoct elaborate schemes to tear their daughter’s romance asunder, all which blow up spectacularly in their faces. As is obvious even in the trailer, in the course of working together to deny their offspring love, the old flames of their long lost love are rekindled. Now that they are oldsters who have been knocked around by life quite a bit, do they realize that all the imperfections the refused to accept in each other when they were young are now acceptable because if its one thing old people understand, it is that you’ll wait forever if you wait for life to be perfect?

Naturally, there are a lot of plot holes to ignore. Lilly did all that work in law school only to throw it away, though it is indicated she only did it to make her parents happy and she now truly believes that being a Balinese seaweed farmer’s wife is her true calling. Even so, the hundreds of thousands of dollars of law school debt could only be absorbed by a kid with rich parents, which she is, but this is never mentioned outright. A sad reality of life is that higher education is a dangerous gamble, one which kids often belly up to the table at a time when they understand very little. They take out massive loans under the assumption the degree will lead to big buckaroos, only to suffer when they don’t find that high paying job, or they do but realize it isn’t for them and have to do it forever to pay those loans off or seek out something they do like but remain forever crushed by debt. Only when you have rich parents can you throw it all away and become a seaweed farmer.

STATUS: Fun. Funny. Not something you’d watch again and again but worth the time of one viewing. George and Julia are two of the last big movie stars so it’s nice to see them yukking it up on screen. In an era where talent is getting increasingly cheap, we may never see their likes again. Both are beautiful rich people playing beautiful rich people doing undignified things for laughs, so that’s surreal.

Bonus points:

#1 – the film focuses on the theme that the best marriages require the perfect time, the perfect place and the perfect circumstances. Maybe you meet someone and you could have been great if you hadn’t been focused on building a career or a recent disappointment in life. Maybe you meet them but alas, you have to go home to LA and she to New York. Maybe you two could be happy if you lived together on a mountain goat farm but unfortunately you live busy urban lifestyles. So focus on building those things that make you happy and love will solve itself, noble reader.

#2 – The ever present conundrum of a kid deciding what will please their parents vs what will please them. I think often young people don’t understand that their parents harp on them to do practical things because they are old and have been knocked around by life. They know big bills and debt are coming your way and know in the long run, you’ll be happier if you can pay them than if you are living on the street giving hobo hand jobs for crack because you tried and failed to chase a silly dream.

The only caveat I’d add is that in today’s economy, trying to secure any job that pays a life sustaining salary requires the applicant to engage in a Mortal Kombat style battle royale for victory against any and all opponents. Ergo, when it’s a freaking uphill climb to get a job in the seemingly practical world of, say, auto insurance claims adjusting, then you might as well just make that uphill climb toward being an actor or an artist or some other thing that parents are mentally trained to tell you to avoid because you’ll totally make big bucks in the law or dentistry or HVAC repair. Mom and Dad don’t realize we’re in a Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome job market now, and it is a struggle to get almost any job.

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Storytelling Interview Series

3.5 readers, I think I might have invented something.

“The Storytelling Interview Series.”

As I’ve discussed ad nauseam, this October there will be an interview series on this site called “#31ZombieAuthors.”

Once a day in October, I’ll be interviewing a different zombie author.

I’ll be doing it in a fun way.

A zombie apocalypse will strike East Randomtown and it will be up to me to save the day.

Every day will feature an excerpt from my Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal, followed by the zombie author interview of the day.

I will actually take a break from the action to “call” authors using Alien Jones’ space phone.

It’s very tongue in cheek.  At times, various characters will comment on my incompetence for calling authors when I should be fighting the apocalypse.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my 3.5 readers will receive this well.

The zombie authors have gotten a kick out of it so far, and these are all people who’ve successfully published, so they know a thing or two.

At the very least, no one’s told me, “This idea sucks!  Get lost, loser!”

So that’s always a plus in my world.

Perhaps it might be too early to be thinking about the future.  I should wait and see how #31ZombieAuthors goes.

BUT – it has recently crossed my mind that if all goes well, I could start applying this concept to other genres.

So you tell me, 3.5, which of these concepts would you like to see next?


Stupid Yeti

Stupid Yeti

BQB’s nemesis, the Yeti, devises some type of hilarious crime.  BQB and Alien Jones get deputized as Jack Bauer style agents and have to unravel the furry snow beast’s plot before all is lost.  Along the way, they stop to interview thriller authors.


shutterstock_248751778 copy

       Capt. Battler

A contingent of steampunks crash their airship in East Randomtown.  Their Captain has been murdered by a ne’er-do-well who has captured their city in the sky, forcing them to go on the run.  The steampunks recruit BQB to become their new Captain and Alien Jones as his first mate.  They go on a mission to oust the baddie and along the way, you guessed it, authors of steampunk books are interviewed.


WOMAN:  Sniff.  I hope BQB and VGRF get back together. MAN:  I wish I was watching Yeti Heat.

WOMAN: Sniff. I hope BQB and VGRF get back together.
MAN: I wish I was watching Yeti Heat.

BQB and Video Game Rack Fighter split up in a comical manner.  It’s BQB’s fault because, well, it’s always the man’s fault, isn’t it?  If you disagree, ask the woman.  BQB goes through a series of hurdles to win back his lady love.  In the meantime, romance authors are interviewed.


The Esteemed Brainy One in a rare pants wearing moment.

The Esteemed Brainy One in a rare pants wearing moment.

Alien Jones recounts the tale of how he first met Bookshelf Q. Battler, as a result of being ordered by his ruler, the Mighty Potentate, to become a columnist for the Bookshelf Battle Blog.  From time to time, AJ takes a break to interview a sci-fi author.


  • I have a few other ideas, but these are the most formulated so far.
  • I’m leaning toward Steampunk first because in my mind, that story has the most concrete outline.
  • I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to do these.  I love doing them but I’d also like to get a book or two out next year so I guess I’ll have to make a choice.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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