Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 2/11/22

Leave a comment

Inventing Anna (CREDIT: Aaron Epstein/Netflix)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Blacklight (Theaters) – Liam Neeson Action.
Death on the Nile (Theaters) – Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh Version) back on the case.
I Want You Back (Amazon Prime Video)
Marry Me (Theaters and Streaming on Peacock) – A rom-com for us.

TV
Inventing Anna Series Premiere (February 11 on Netflix) – Fun with fraud.
-Puppy Bowl XVIII (February 13 on Animal Planet)

Music
-alt-J, The Dream
-Spoon, Lucifer on the Sofa
-Tegan and Sara, Still Jealous – A reimagining of their 2004 album So Jealous.
-Eddie Vedder, Earthling

Sports
-Super Bowl LVI (February 13 on NBC)

Will ‘Marry Me’ Make Us Merry?

1 Comment

Marry Me (CREDIT: Barry Wetcher/Universal Pictures)

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, John Bradley, Sarah Silverman, Chloe Coleman, Michell Buteau, Stephen Wallem, Jimmy Fallon, Jameela Jamil, Utkarsh Ambudkar

Director: Kat Coiro

Running Time: 112 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for Fairly Mild Profanity

Release Date: February 11, 2022 (Theaters and Peacock)

Where does Marry Me the movie place in my rankings of pop cultural uses of that particular matrimonial phrase? Its opponents of course includes Maeby Fünke’s usage of it as a catchphrase on Arrested Development to deflect anyone and everyone’s suspicions about her actual age. And it’s also the title of indie rocker St. Vincent’s 2007 debut album (which was itself named after AD). So clearly the competition is pretty stiff! It’s even stiffer when you consider that there’s a song called “Marry Me” that’s performed multiple times in the movie. So in that sense, the film is competing against itself for Marry Me-dominance!

Okay, folks, I’m not going to jerk you around any longer: Arrested Development wins my vote for best use of “Marry Me.” But this new romantic comedy still has its own particular charms that are worth considering.

The premise is a modern day fairytale: Jennifer Lopez plays Kat Valdez, a pop superstar not too dissimilar from J. Lo herself. She’s all set to marry her musical/romantic partner Bastian (Colombian singer Maluma) in an extravagant onstage ceremony, but when she discovers that he’s been cheating on her, she suddenly chooses a random concertgoer in the form of single dad Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) as a replacement groom. Their union is legally legit, but everything else is just for show for the tabloids and the Instagram-viewing masses, at least initially. Charlie hardly knows Kat anyway, as he was only at the show since his tween daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman) is a fan. He might also be the epitome of modern fiction’s social media-agnostic stock character, and if that character is going to be played by someone as effortlessly charming as Wilson, then I’m here for it!

Marry Me really comes alive in the quiet two-hander moments when it’s just Lopez and Wilson on screen. His advice about the publicity machine being B.S. might be simple and far from revolutionary, but it’s also tender and wonderfully supportive. “Support” is really the key word here, as both Charlie and Kat are surrounded by endlessly loyal friends who know just how to nudge things in the right direction. And in addition to all that, there’s a subplot about a middle school math contest, with Charlie as a coach and Lou as one of the mathletes. So therefore I must say, if back in 2001 when I was in seventh grade, Jennifer Lopez had randomly shown up at one of my math contests, that would have been pretty cool. And while a movie version of that scenario might not be quite as magical as the real-life hypothetical, it’s still something I’m happy to have experienced.

Marry Me is Recommended If You Like: Dreaming the Improbable Dream, Turning the cameras off to have a conversation, Math puns

Grade: 3 out of 5 Pi-thons