You know sometimes you just have to go with it…
We’ll be the first to admit that there’s honestly nothing about Shotgun Wedding on paper that screams originality to make it a must see, but there’s some genuine excellence in the execution of what is a knowingly silly and bombastic action rom-com that has an ensemble that knows well enough to lean into the premise of it all, switch some roles up and have a little bit of fun with it all.
Darcy (Jennifer Lopez) and Tom (Josh Duhamel) gather their lovable but very opinionated families for the ultimate destination wedding, just as the couple begin to get cold feet. And if that wasn’t enough of a threat to the celebration, suddenly everyone’s lives are in danger when the entire party is taken hostage. “’Til Death Do Us Part” takes on a whole new meaning in this adventure as Darcy and Tom must save their loved ones—if they don’t kill each other first.
In a silly but sly gender flip, we see Jennifer Lopez take on the role of the “Alpha” in the wedding dynamic as Shotgun Wedding has enough natural charisma with its two leads alongside a LOADED ensemble cast to make for a breezy, all be it gonzo premise of a movie.
We’ll admit that the script from screenwriter Mark Hammer takes a minute to get going as the first twenty minutes of the film either takes itself too seriously or is rapid fire trying to fit in the supporting players for the film, its strength comes after all that. When it morphs into a buddy, fish out of water action comedy with these two not only trying to save their marriage but actually save the day is where it all gets pretty fun. The zingers and beats in it all are rapid fire as it flies across the screen, sure they don’t always work, but it’s moving at such a pace that they honestly don’t all have to.
Director Jason Moore keeps the pacing crisp and rightly so as it just adds to the madcap nature of the narrative. No one is meant to take a breath, rather just to strap in and enjoy the ride. Even when the beats of it all get a little uneven in-between action set pieces, this movie still works based on sheer charm and charisma alone.
There’s no denying that the tone of this overall film could be described as “madcap” and while Jennifer Lopez as an actress isn’t exactly built for that level of comedy, there’s no denying she’s giving it her all as she dives into an archetype of a character that is somewhere between Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride and Bruce Willis in well…quite a few things.
It ain’t perfect, but it still all meshes together shockingly well. Josh Duhamel is a perfect side kick here as the well intentioned, doe eyed ex-baseball player fiancé who just wants the woman of his dreams to have her perfect wedding and with an ensemble cast that includes the iconic Jennifer Coolidge, Cheech Marin, Sonia Braga and Lenny Kravitz as the gorgeous yet smarmy ex who all know their roles to a tee, it’s kind of hard not to have fun.
Shotgun Wedding was never actually designed to be high art and if you’re here looking for that, we’re sorry but you’re in the wrong place. What this movie has though is an endearingly goofy charm that will last for days, and that’s OK by us.
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance
- Release Date: 1/27/2023
- Directed by: Jason Moore
- Starring: Cheech Marin, Jennifer Coolidge, Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel
- Written by: Mark Hammer
- Studio: Lionsgate, Prime Video
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