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1/24/2022 • 4 min read
Jennifer Lopez has a stellar musical career known for songs that are both sincere and dance-floor-friendly. On the big screen, her biggest hits have been comedies; if you think of Jennifer Lopez movies, you’re most likely to think of any one of a series of romcoms she did through the early 2000s. Now, after 10 years away from the genre, she has come back to the romcom, joined by Owen Wilson and Meluma, in the February 11 release, MARRY ME.
Even better, MARRY ME, in which a pop star (Lopez) dumps her cheating fiancé (Meluma) in favor of an eager fan (Wilson), unites the two major aspects of J-Lo’s career. Beautiful unions are a great thing to see, especially as we approach Valentine’s Day. Will MARRY ME be the ideal Valentine to J-Lo fans?
While Lopez broke out as a movie star with SELENA, she soon followed that movie with the caper comedy OUT OF SIGHT. It’s not a romcom — there are conventions that are essential to the romcom that OUT OF SIGHT doesn’t indulge — but the movie is very funny and features a sparkling romance between Lopez and co-star George Clooney. That set the stage for Lopez to move into overt romcom territory.
And so we enjoyed a string of movies that included MAID IN MANHATTAN, in which J-Lo’s character gets together with a politician played by Ralph Fiennes, and THE WEDDING PLANNER, in which Lopez’s wedding planner character falls for one of her clients, played by Matthew McConaughey. The latter movie truly kicked off J-Lo’s romcom career and stands as one of her best movies overall. (It also set McConaughey on the romcom path, which he walked for almost a decade.)
Jennifer Lopez finished her initial romcom run with WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING, and since then has done thrillers (PARKER and LILA & EVE), dark dramas like HUSTLERS, television ("Shades of Blue) and the charming workplace comedy SECOND ACT. The romcom has always been there waiting for her return, however, and MARRY ME is a great way for her to burst back onto that particular scene.
The story in MARRY ME builds off J-Lo's singing career as she and co-star Maluma have released a single together. (Maluma, the young Colombian sensation, is also building his own big-screen career, having recently voiced a character in Disney's ENCANTO.) And what better person to bring in as an unlikely romantic foil than Owen Wilson, whose awkwardly charming personality seems custom-designed for a story like this?
Romcoms are often about younger characters, but MARRY ME doesn't try to play the two leads off as characters in their 20s. Director Kat Coiro told EW "I think they find a love that is very genuine, but it's also a love that comes with a lot of baggage, that is natural when you reach a certain age… You can see that she's gained something from being with him."
That aspect could also easily be informed by Lopez's own experiences since her life as a celebrity has been marked by dramatic romantic turns and reversals. This isn't to suggest that MARRY ME is based on truth, but even the best actors benefit from grounding their characters in familiar experiences. Jennifer Lopez is a stellar actor, and we're eager to see how her life in music and in the public eye adds extra power to the characters in this welcome return to a genre that Lopez has always elevated.
All images courtesy of Universal Pictures.
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