The top question we have for the new Jennifer Lopez led “rom-com” “Shotgun Wedding” is who is this for? We are absolutely fans of some of her other turns, “Maid in Manhattan” is a great movie and we won’t hear otherwise. However her latest, in which she stars opposite Josh Duhamel, is severely lacking in both romance and comedy.
Additionally, watching it under the lens of “Wait, Armie Hammer was supposed to be the male lead?!” raises even further questions. Were they going to address the age gap? Were these characters still going to behave in such a mind boggling way for grown adults? Did they think HE would’ve had better comedic chops than Duhamel?
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Premise-wise, it is relatively straightforward; couple has misaligned goals for their nuptials. Families don’t mesh easily, it’s at a faraway destination etc.. Could’ve been safely plug and play. The complicating factor is when the celebration is interrupted by criminals. In the current climate the violence comes across as unnecessary and flippant.
We’d have gladly taken a “Father of the Bride” esque scenario with the same cast (potentially). Supporting folks do their best to keep the anemic film afloat. Jennifer Coolidge is trying her damndest, and is probably the best part of the film. Sonia Braga, Cheech Marin, Selena Tan, D’Arcy Carden, Callie Hernandez, Desmin Borges, Steve Coulter, and (for some reason) Lenny Kravitz all give a fair shake. Ultimately the distraction of the adventure / peril aspect of the film detracts from what could’ve and should’ve just been a plug and play romcom.
Lopez’s character is an ambiguous age, but the film makes a concerted point to show that the 53 year old is hotter than any person of almost any age has a right to be. Duhamel (who in real life is 50) plays a 40 something. Yet neither character behaves as if they’ve lived a lick of worldly experience past maybe mid 20s. Again we could’ve seen there being some logic in the script being for Hammer originally, but Lopez was always the main star… Thus bringing us back to our original question: “who is this for?!”
Unfortunately, we’re going to have to propose that you skip “Shotgun Wedding” and instead recommend an early 2000s J.Lo film instead. [Like “Out of Sight,” or “The Cell.”] However if you insist, it’s streaming on Prime Video now.