(director: Kat Coiro; screenwriters: Harper Dill, John Rogers, Tami Sagher/based on a graphic novel by Bobby Crosby; cinematographer: Florian Ballhaus; editor: Michael Berenbaum; music:John Debney; cast: Jennifer Lopez (Kat Valdez), Maluma ( Bastian), Sarah Silverman (Parker Debbs), Owen Wilson (Charlie Gilbert), Chlow Coleman (Lou), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Coach Manny), John Bradley (Collin Calloway), Michelle Buteau (Melissa), Jimmy Fallon (Self), Stephen Wallem (Jonathan Pitts); Runtime: 112; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers; Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jennifer Lopez, John Rogers: Universal Pictures; 2022)
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Kat Coiro (“A Case of You”/”Life Happens”) directs this pleasing rom/com, about an unlikely happy ending to an implausible romance, that’s written by Harper Dill, John Rogers, Tami Sagher. It’s based on a graphic novel by Bobby Crosby.
The three times divorced pop star Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez), living in the fast lane, has a hit song called “Marry Me” and does a duet for that song with her pop singer fiancé Bastian (Maluma, Colombian singer). In their next concert they will tie the knot in front of 20 million streaming viewers.
The square middle school math teacher, Charlie (Owen Wilson), traveling in the slow lane, only cares about his math team. He’s the single parent of a 12-year-old daughter, Lou (Chloe Coleman), who looks forward to watching the event on TV. When the school guidance counselor, Parker Debbs (Sarah Silverman), has extra tickets for the unique concert she brings along Lou and her dad.
Just before the wedding ceremony begins, Kat finds out Bastian has been unfaithful. Emotionally distressed, she spots Charlie in the crowd holding on to a “Marry Me” sign meant for someone else, and thinking it’s meant for her decides to take him up on his offer. At first her manager Colin (John Bradley) tries talking her out of it, but when it goes over big on social media he’s all in on it. Kat says let’s see if it works for a few months as a test run. The marriage is only a publicity stunt, with no real bonds, so all parties are willing to give it try.
It plays out as one of those zany screwball comedies audiences loved in the Depression Era and might also be enjoyed as escapist fare during the pandemic. On the other hand, if you hate the genre, you’ll still probably hate it.
The title song “On My Way” hits it out of the yard, as do several snazzy dance numbers (though the one that has the dancers dressed as nuns might not go over big in the Vatican circles)
REVIEWED ON 2/18/2022 GRADE: B-