Tag Archives: weddings

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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Daily Discussion with BQB – Sologamy (Self-Monogamy or Should You Marry Yourself?)

There’s a disturbing new trend, 3.5 readers.

People marrying…themselves.

Can’t find the love of your life?  Do all your romantic conquests leave you disappointed?  Do you still want to walk down the aisle despite having no one to stand next to at the alter?

You’re in luck for  you can now…marry yourself!

Yes, marry yourself.  Propose to yourself.  Have a ceremony with yourself that you invite all your friends and loved ones to attend.  Go on a honeymoon by yourself and grow old with yourself.

After all, no one understand you more than you and no one will be there for you more than you because you’re the only one who physically can’t run away from yourself.

Anyway, I’ve been seeing stories about this popping up and I’ve never been able to tell if its on the level.  Some people may just be doing it because its funny, though I would imagine there are a few dopes who actually think this is the real deal and make all sorts of serious pledges to themselves.

In fact, there’s a website, “I Married Me” that will sell you a self-marriage kit that includes one, count ’em, one ring to put on yourself.

Something tells me that kit should include the number to the “Help Me, I’m Super Depressed” hotline.

Would you ever consider marrying yourself, 3.5 readers?

If you do, here are my questions:

#1 – If you masterbate, is that intimacy with your self-bride/self-groom or are you cheating on yourself with….yourself?

#2 – If you finally by some miracle meet someone who can stand you and you want to marry that person, will you have to divorce yourself?

#3 – If you marry yourself and have a one night stand with another person, have you cheated yourself?

#4 – If you divorce yourself, will you have to pay yourself alimony?  Will you have to write a check once a month to yourself?

#5 – If you are unhappy with yourself, can you go to self-couple’s counseling?

#6 – Is this that stupid?  I mean, don’t many marriages end in divorce, heartache and financial ruin, so much so that you might as well just sit at home and eat cookies with yourself?

#7 – Is this sad?  Is it disturbing that marriage has declined to the point where people think this is an option?

#8 – If you have a kid and you divorce yourself, do you have to split custody of the kid between yourself and yourself?

What questions do you have about sologamy, 3.5 readers?  Let me know if you plan on marrying yourselves.






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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 43

Like a prisoner waiting for a pardon from the governor, Slade sat in the visitor’s chair across from the Reverend Cavanaugh’s desk, staring at his pocket watch as it ticked closer and closer to six o’clock.

Out in the hallway, the Good Reverend chatted with the bride.

“Reverend,” Sarah said. “Surely there’s some biblical interpretation that would render the bed sheet unnecessary?”

“Oh no,” Reverend Cavanaugh replied. “For as Hezekiah said unto Mordecai who in turn said unto the Edomites, ‘Whoever lies together as husband and wife shall form an eternal bond of the flesh that shall never be torn asunder…”

“Yes, I’ve read Hezekiah’s pronouncements on the subject,” Sarah said. “But my first husband, God rest his soul, departed quite some time ago. Isn’t the promise made during a marriage ceremony restricted to ‘until death do us part?’”

“One would think so,” the Reverend said. “But funny thing about that. The Apostle Paul once gave a testimony which stated…”

Slade’s head hit the desk with a colossal “THUD” as his bride walked away with the preacher. He shut his eyes. He tuned out the world. He rested there for a few minutes, clearing his mind of any thoughts. It felt good to have some peace.

It was short lived. He heard footsteps enter the room and looked up to find a redhead standing over him.




“I shouldn’t be here I know,” Miss Bonnie said as she tucked a roll of bills into Slade’s hand. “I just wanted you to have this.”

“What’s this for?” Slade asked.

“It’s all the money you ever paid me,” Miss Bonnie said.

Slade attempted to hand it back. “I don’t want this.”

“I know,” Miss Bonnie said as she pushed Slade’s hand away. “But I need you to take it. I realized it too late but the time we had together was very special to me. In the future, when I look back on it, I don’t want to think it had anything to do with money.”

Slade looked at the cash in his hand. “That’s not what you said though.”

“I know,” Miss Bonnie said.

“You said I was just a customer,” Slade said.

“I know,” Miss Bonnie replied. “And I was wrong. You weren’t. You were a lot more than that. Take care of yourself, OK?”

Miss Bonnie pecked a quick kiss on Slade’s cheek and then started to walk away. Slade grabbed her arm.

“You can’t just do this,” he said.

“Do what?” Miss Bonnie asked.

As it always did around his favorite redhead, Slade’s rasp disappeared and his tongue untied itself. “You can’t tell me I don’t mean anything to you and then show up and tell me you changed your mind after someone else falls for me without having to think twice about it. We’re not kids and you can’t treat me like I’m some old toy you lost interest in only to like it again once you see some other kid playing with it.”

“I’m sorry,” Miss Bonnie said. “I didn’t mean to upset you. I’ll go.”

“So what is this?” Slade asked. “You make some grand romantic gesture and I’m supposed to leave Sarah at the altar for you and if I don’t then what? It’s MY fault that we aren’t together now?”

“No,” Miss Bonnie said.

“Because it’s not my fault,” Slade said.

Miss Bonnie’s tears started to flow. “I know. I’ll go to my grave knowing it’s my fault. Is that what you want me to say?”

“No,” Slade said.

“Every day I wake up wishing I hadn’t said what I did to you that day,” Miss Bonnie said. “But I did. And I can’t change that.”

Slade felt like crying now. Of course he didn’t. Tough guys don’t cry.

“There is no choice for you here,” Miss Bonnie said. “If I felt like I could be half the wife she could be to you then maybe I’d ask you to run away with me but I know I could never make you as happy as she could.”

Slade sniffled. He was sure it was just a stuffed up nose. It had nothing to do with sadness whatsoever. “You’re wrong about that.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Miss Bonnie said. “If you asked me right here, right now to run away with you I still wouldn’t because I’d never want another woman to suffer the humiliation of being left on her wedding day because of me.”

Slade and Miss Bonnie stared into each other’s eyes for a moment, each wondering who would break first.

“Run away with me,” Slade said.

Miss Bonnie patted Slade on the cheek. “Nope.”

The would be couple that never was gawked at each other for at least another minute, drinking each other in.  Miss Bonnie dried her eyes.

“Goodbye,” Miss Bonnie said and turned around only to bump right into the bride herself.

Sarah was a vision in white. Perfect hair. Perfect makeup. Perfect everything. Mrs. Anderson had outdone herself.

It was an emotional encounter for Slade. First, a terrifying panic washed over him. How much had Sarah heard? She wasn’t saying anything. Was she mad? The panic turned into relief. He’d been caught. He’d feel terrible but now the wedding would be off and he never actually had to stop it himself. Except Sarah didn’t look mad. Why wasn’t she mad?

“Rain,” Sarah said. “Mr. O’Brien is waiting to take our picture.”

The rasp returned. “OK.”

“Who is this?” Sarah asked.

To Slade’s dismay, Miss Bonnie was an exceptional con-artist.

“So anyway, Mr. Slade,” Miss Bonnie said. “I’d be happy to donate some wine for your wedding. What do you think? About a half dozen bottles?”

Shit” was what Slade thought but “yup” was all he said.

“Oh hello there,” Miss Bonnie said as she shook Sarah’s hand. “Bonnie Lassiter and you must be the lucky lady.”

“Hello,” Sarah said.

“I run the saloon down the road and let me tell you, Mr. Slade was a big help when he was the law in these parts,” Miss Bonnie said. “Yessiree, whenever there was a stick-up or a drunk that needed tossing out why, good old Marshal Slade was right there to do his duty. I just felt I had to do something to show my appreciation when I heard you two were having your nuptials.”

Sarah was clearly buying it. Unfortunately, the performance had the effect of making Slade fall for Miss Bonnie even harder.

“Oh,” Sarah said. “Yes! I have heard of you! Mrs. Hutchins told me you’re the town whore!”

“Ugh,” Miss Bonnie said. “That bitch.”

“Pardon?” Sarah asked.

“Oh that’s rich,” Miss Bonnie said. “That Ophelia Hutchins, she’s a real cut up. I don’t do that anymore.”

“Well good for you,” Sarah said. “It’s never too late to save your soul.”

“Yeah,” Miss Bonnie said as she headed for the door. “I’m all kinds of worried about my soul. So anyway, I’ll have that wine sent right over.”

“Oh no thank you,” Sarah said. “We don’t drink.”

“Of course you don’t,” Bonnie said. “What was I thinking? Everyone knows Rainier Slade is the biggest teetotaler in town. Sarsaparilla it is!”

Miss Bonnie walked away and Slade feared, out of his life forever.

“Oh my,” Sarah said as she left the room. “It’s bad luck for us to see each other right now, isn’t it? I’ll see you outside.”

The money in Slade’s hand had become wet with his sweat. He mulled over Miss Bonnie’s words. “There is no choice for you here.”

An empty collection plate sat on the Reverend’s desk. Slade plunked the money on top of it and reported for duty.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 39


If you wanted to buy something in Highwater, whether it was an axe or a suit, Anderson’s General Store was the place to be.

Dressing like a refined gentleman was a new experience for Slade. His collar felt tight. He’d never worn a tie before and couldn’t wait to take it off. He couldn’t believe that he’d allowed himself to be talked into wearing a cummerbund. A red one to boot.

Mrs. Anderson was a boney old hag who reeked of peppermint candy, though her face was sweet enough that looked as though she’d been a head turner in her day. After all, she once turned Jim Anderson’s head, though as the bald chubby man studied his accounts ledger, he didn’t look like a particularly great catch.

“So dashing!” Sarah said. “What do you think?”


“Is that good?” Mrs. Anderson asked.

“I have no idea,” Sarah replied.

“Is it proper to wear a hat in church?” Mrs. Anderson asked. “And those guns…you should lose them.”

“True, it is a wedding, dear,” Sarah said.

Slade cleared his throat. “Non-negotiable…on both fronts.”

Mrs. Anderson shook her head. “Men.”

She walked behind the counter, shooed her husband away from the ledger and began jotting down figures.

Slade stared at himself in the mirror, convinced this get up was the first step toward becoming a prissy, dandified girly man. A familiar voice broke his concentration.

“Christ’s sakes, Jim, don’t give me that top shelf shit! Do I look like a Vanderbilt to you?”

Slade turned his head to see his ex-deputy at the counter, purchasing a bottle of whiskey. Gunther forked over his money, took his bottle, and was about to walk off when he spotted his ex-boss.


There was no making a run for it now. Slade was in for it. Gunther walked over, took off his hat and bowed.

“Excuse me, Mr. City Slicker, which way to the op-a-rah house?”


“Did I take a wrong turn and end up in gay Paree?”


“No one told me the King of England was making an appearance.”

“Shut up,” Slade said.

“What’s with the monkey suit?” Gunther asked. “Someone up and croak?”

“What?” Slade asked.

“Whose funeral?” Gunther asked.

Slade felt like it was his but realized that wasn’t what Gunther meant. “It’s for a…” Slade’s voice trailed off unintelligibly.

“A what?” Gunther asked.

Slade mumbled again. Gunther put his hand up to his ear.

“Speak up, sonny. My ears aren’t as good as they used to be.”

“A wedding!” Slade said.

Gunther smiled. “Get outta town! When?”

“Tonight,” Slade said.

“Shit, you youngsters don’t waist any time do you?” Gunther said.

“I guess not,” Slade replied. Gunther was already off to the counter, shaking Sarah’s hand up and down. “Congratulations on your impending nuptials, Widow Farquhar!”

“Why thank you,” Sarah said. “You’ll join us, won’t you?”

Gunther put his arm around Slade’s shoulder. “Why I wouldn’t miss it for the world and Rain, don’t you worry none, the answer is yes.”

“Huh?” Slade asked.

“Yes,” Gunther replied.

“What the hell’s the question?” Slade asked.

“Will I be your best man?” Gunther said. “Of course I will, ya’ jackass, you don’t even have to ask.”

The thought hadn’t crossed Slade’s mind but realizing there was no other candidate for the job, he didn’t question it. Sarah seconded it.

“I think that’s a lovely idea,” she said.

“Widow Farquhar,” Gunther said. “Could I borrow the groom for a spell? Official best man business.”

“Of course,” Sarah said. She turned her attention to Mrs. Anderson. “You’ll deliver the dress tonight then?”

“Yes honey,” Mrs. Anderson said. “Don’t worry about a thing.”

Gunther led Slade outside. From the steps of the general store, they could see the newly arrived train sitting at the station. Legion employees in conductor uniforms puttered about the platform, loading equipment.

“That is some nefarious and suspicious shit right there,” Gunther said. “What do you think?”

“It’s big,” Slade said. “We rode past it on the way in. Has to be at least three miles long. One of those big guns on every fifth car.”

“Rain, I know I schooled you well in the art of saying ‘fuck it,’” Gunther said. “But now might be one of those times where your ill-advised recklessness is required.”

“What do you want me to do?” Slade asked.

“I don’t know,” Gunther said. “You’re the boss. I’m just the help.”

“Not anymore,” Slade said. “And I’m getting hitched.”

Gunther and Slade shared a moment of silence. “You sure that’s what you want?” the old man asked.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Slade said.

“What else is new?” Gunther asked. He pulled the cork out of his bottle, took a sip, then offered Slade some. He declined.

Sarah walked out of the store and took Slade’s arm. “Mrs. Anderson said you’re free to wear your suit out of the store but darling, please don’t get it dirty.”

“I better go pay,” Slade said.

“Oh sweetheart I took care of that,” Sarah said.

Gunther felt like a third wheel. “This sounds like one hell of a shin dig, folks. I better go and get my own fancy duds out of moth balls.”

“Six o’clock, Mr. Beauregard,” Sarah said.

“Ma’am, wild horses could not drag me away,” Gunther said. The old timer walked away.


“What is it?” Sarah asked. “You look cross. More so than usual.”

“You can’t just…pay for me.”

“Why not?” Sarah asked.

“It’s like I’m a…” Slade whispered the next part, “…a damn gigolo.”

Sarah led her man down the street. “Don’t be ridiculous! We’re to be married soon. What’s mine is yours and yours is mine. Come now, we have a long day ahead. I hope we can find a photographer.”

Slade craned his neck once more at that train. He knew Gunther was right.

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