Movie review

It’s Valentine’s Day and therefore time for a big silly romantic comedy, and I am here to bring the welcome news that “Marry Me,” otherwise known as That Rom-Com In Which Jennifer Lopez Basically Plays Herself, is kind of adorable. Utterly predictable, to be sure, and really not all that funny for something that’s supposed to be a comedy, but nonetheless sweet and perfectly watchable if rom-coms are your thing. These days, that counts as a win. Pass the popcorn.

So, here we have JLo as Kat Valdez, a rich and beautiful and stunningly successful pop star who’s preparing, in the early scenes, to marry her fellow-pop-star boyfriend Bastien (played by international music star Maluma) in an elaborate wedding/concert watched by a streaming audience of millions. But things go awry, as they must in the early scenes of rom-coms, and Kat finds herself alone as she gazes into the crowd, locks eyes with a faintly confused-looking blond man, and invites him up onto the stage to marry her. (As one does.) That man is single dad Charlie (Owen Wilson), and turns out he is a saint: devoted to his tween daughter Lou (Chloe Colman), who’s the reason why he’s at the concert; dedicated to his students at the elementary school where he teaches math; kind to his elderly dog. Yes, the dog is a bit much.

As you have probably seen a movie or two before, you know where this is going. But Lopez’s glossy sweetness and Wilson’s dad-jokes charm blend amiably together, and “Marry Me” glides along smoothly, full of pop songs and earnestness and very expensive-looking hair. (Fun fact: Lopez and Wilson previously shared a screen in 1997’s “Anaconda.”) It’s a bit of a stretch that these two characters are so incredibly, faultlessly nice at all times — Kat doesn’t even complain when she has to fly coach in a middle seat while wearing the world’s tightest red sequined dress and stilettos — but hey, a little fantasy doesn’t feel wrong these days.

To all of us out there trying to be the nicest rom-com version of ourselves, happy Valentine’s Day.  

“Marry Me” ★★½ (out of four)

With Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, John Bradley, Chloe Colman, Sarah Silverman. Directed by Kat Coiro, from a screenplay by John Rogers, Tami Sagher and Harper Dill, based on the graphic novel by Bobby Crosby. 112 minutes. Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive material. Opening Feb. 11 at multiple theaters; streaming beginning Feb. 11 on Peacock.

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