RSVP Your Regrets to J.Lo's 'Shotgun Wedding'

Directed by Jason Moore

Starring Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge, Sônia Braga, Cheech Marin, D'Arcy Carden, Lenny Kravitz

Photo: Ana Carballosa / Lionsgate

BY Marriska FernandesPublished Jan 27, 2023

When you have the rare occasion of having two Jennifers — Lopez and Coolidge — in a comedy, one might instantly assume that's a winning formula for a good film. Unfortunately, not even the great Jennifers could save Shotgun Wedding

J.Lo has given us many wedding-themed rom-coms in the past, from The Wedding Planner and Monster-in-Law to the more recent Marry Me. It's clear she loves her romantic comedies and is trying to revive the genre for the hopeless romantics, but Shotgun Wedding's poorly-written script simply makes us wish she didn't say "I do" to this one. 

The film follows Tom (Josh Duhamel) and Darcy (Lopez), who are about to tie the knot at a resort in the Philippines. The destination wedding means both families will assemble at the party whether they all get along or not. Darcy's mother, Renata (Sônia Braga), is unhappy that her ex-husband and Darcy's father (Cheech Marin) brought his younger girlfriend (D'Arcy Carden) to the party. Meanwhile Tom's mother, Carol (Coolidge), is trying to call the shots at the wedding.

It's not long before uninvited guests trickle in when Darcy's ex-lover, Sean (Lenny Kravitz), shows up, courtesy of Darcy's father. Soon after, pirates crash the party to take the guests as hostage while Tom and Darcy are having a meltdown of their own. Trouble in paradise, indeed. 

It might have seemed wise on paper to switch the trope from a bridezilla to a groomzilla, but I didn't buy Duhamel as a groom obsessed with the pineapple centrepieces and the big fancy wedding. The writing could have been more fleshed out for the role of Tom. Instead, the character struggles to find his footing amidst the fruit and pirate crises. 

For what it's worth, J.Lo really does bring the charm and style. She can pull off combat boots and a shredded tulle wedding gown like a queen. Despite the script and direction, she gives it her all — and, well, that's maybe what will get some viewers through the 100-minute flick. She's earnest in Darcy's endeavour to make her relationship work with Tom and delivers a high note in a few key scenes.

For her part, Coolidge could have been better utilized with stronger dialogue; instead, she's given weak one-liners like an uninvited wedding guest. She deserved much better than Shotgun Wedding, and after having seen what she's capable of in The White Lotus, it's clear she was much better off at the other resort (apart from the ending, of course). 

If the script was better written, Kravitz could have completely changed the direction of this film. He was another under-utilized talent, with his comic timing barely scratching the surface of what he's capable of as an actor.

Whether a fan of rom-coms or not, audiences might want to reconsider RSVPing to this particular wedding party. It might simply be one to watch on an quiet night at home when only a light, breezy (and forgettable) rom-com with a few engaging action sequences will do. It's not that the film is terrible; it is enjoyable enough to pass the time, but it fails to join the ranks of J.Lo's most beloved rom-coms.
(Prime Video)

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