The checklist of explanation why Jennifer Lopez’s “Shotgun Wedding” ought to stink is appreciable.
The undertaking has been kicking round for a while, with title actors (Ryan Reynolds, Armie Hammer) flirting with the script earlier than Josh Duhamel got here aboard.
Hollywood continues to be uncertain easy methods to make an old-school rom-com lately, though latest movies like “Ticket to Paradise” and “I Want You Back” recommend the style is ripe for a comeback.
And the story’s plot, a marriage ceremony will get hijacked by terrorists, reeks of flop sweat.
“Shotgun Wedding” bullies previous all of the above, proving the rom-com template can survive virtually something. It helps to have Stifler’s mother, scene-stealer Jennifer Coolidge, readily available.
Lopez and Duhamel star as Darcy and Tom, lovebirds gathering in the Philippines for his or her massive wedding ceremony. He’s a management freak, organizing each final element of the wedding ceremony. She’s busy conserving the peace between her squabbling mother and father.
Their massive day is interrupted by machine gun-wielding terrorists desirous to snag some money from Darcy’s wealthy Dad (Cheech Marin).
Can this marriage really occur? Will the wedding ceremony get together reside to see tomorrow?
The “dumb” issue sinks quite a lot of fluffy rom-coms. “Shotgun Wedding” avoids that destiny early on. The laughs are mild, the bond between Darcy and Tom feels actual sufficient and the supporting gamers add heat and persona.
Sonia Braga seethes as Darcy’s mother, nonetheless bitter over her ex shacking up with a a lot youthful girl (D’Arcy Carden). Tom’s daffy mother (Coolidge) will get each social cue fallacious, as solely the “White Lotus” star can.
And then there’s Sean (Lenny Kravitz), Darcy’s good-looking ex whose presence will get on Tom’s final nerve. Can you blame him?
It’s an overstuffed recipe for love and hazard, and the movie packs loads of the latter. These terrorists imply enterprise … till they don’t. The movie can’t push the hazard factor an excessive amount of, lest it break away from the rom-com template.
That means this “Wedding” has a tonal drawback, and it by no means totally resolves itself. One minute we’re chortling at Coolidge saying one thing foolish, the subsequent the couple in query is dodging machine gun fireplace.
Harry and Sally by no means needed to duck and canopy throughout their display screen romance.
Director Jason Moore of “Pitch Perfect” fame handles the numerous components as finest as anybody might. The motion beats are surprisingly taut, and Moore by no means steps on fun to alongside the manner.
Lopez and Duhamel aren’t a basic display screen couple, however their bickering has a goal. Marriage is difficult, and dedication means making your self as susceptible as attainable.
That’s scary by itself, not to mention figuring out a group of terrorists is lurking round the nook.
Duhamel’s profession isn’t any match for what Lopez has constructed over the years, however the actor’s beauty distract from his informal attraction. He’s excellent for breezy rom-coms, however Hollywood hasn’t given him tasks worthy of his ability set.
His work in 2004’s “Win a Date with Ted Hamilton!” ought to have opened that door way back.
Duhamel’s presence, and a woke-free story, make “Shotgun Wedding” a flawed however frivolous date night time various.
HiT or Miss: “Shotgun Wedding” must be a multitude, however the charismatic leads and a dollop of sly cracks from Jennifer Coolidge retains the rom-com on monitor.