The listing of the reason why Jennifer Lopez’s “Shotgun Wedding” ought to stink is appreciable.
The venture 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 remains to be not sure make an old-school rom-com nowadays, though current movies like “Ticket to Paradise” and “I Want You Back” counsel 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 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 within the Philippines for his or her huge wedding ceremony. He’s a management freak, organizing each final element of the marriage. She’s busy protecting the peace between her squabbling dad and mom.
Their huge day is interrupted by machine gun-wielding terrorists desperate to snag some money from Darcy’s wealthy Dad (Cheech Marin).
Can this marriage truly occur? Will the marriage celebration stay to see tomorrow?
The “dumb” issue sinks various fluffy rom-coms. “Shotgun Wedding” avoids that destiny early on. The laughs are light, the bond between Darcy and Tom feels actual sufficient and the supporting gamers add heat and character.
Sonia Braga seethes as Darcy’s mother, nonetheless bitter over her ex shacking up with a a lot youthful lady (D’Arcy Carden). Tom’s daffy mother (Coolidge) will get each social cue unsuitable, 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 absolutely resolves itself. One minute we’re chortling at Coolidge saying one thing foolish, the subsequent the couple in query is dodging machine gun hearth.
Harry and Sally by no means needed to duck and canopy throughout their display romance.
Director Jason Moore of “Pitch Perfect” fame handles the varied components as greatest as anybody might. The motion beats are surprisingly taut, and Moore by no means steps on fun to alongside the best way.
Lopez and Duhamel aren’t a traditional display couple, however their bickering has a objective. Marriage is tough, and dedication means making your self as susceptible as potential.
That’s scary by itself, not to mention figuring out a workforce of terrorists is lurking across the nook.
Duhamel’s profession isn’t any match for what Lopez has constructed over time, however the actor’s beauty distract from his informal appeal. He’s good for breezy rom-coms, however Hollywood hasn’t given him tasks worthy of his talent 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 evening different.
HiT or Miss: “Shotgun Wedding” ought to be a large number, however the charismatic leads and a dollop of sly cracks from Jennifer Coolidge retains the rom-com on observe.