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‘Shotgun Wedding’ movie review: Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel

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Just when you thought 2023 was going to be a good year at the movies, with a prehistoric shark for company, comes Shotgun Wedding. It is not even the kind of existentially bad film that prompts you to debate your place in the world. Shotgun Wedding is just dreadful in a boring, half-hearted way. It is even more appalling to watch JLo stuck in such a demeaning exercise.

Darcy (Lopez) and Tom (Josh Duhamel) are getting married in a beautiful island in the Philippines. Like all weddings, there is stuff to navigate despite the best efforts of the manager, Marge (Selena Tan from Crazy Rich Asians). Darcy does not want her super-rich dad, Robert (Cheech Marin) to pay for it and Tom wants to give Darcy the perfect wedding, while proving to his in-laws that he is the right man for their baby girl.

Darcy’s sister Jamie (Callie Hernandez) is a bit of a wild child and does not turn up in time to do Darcy’s hair as she is getting up to a spot of no good with best man Ricky (Desmin Borges). With Jamie not around to curb her future mother-in-law, Carol’s (Jennifer Coolidge) excesses, Darcy ends up with something resembling a “condo” on her head.

Darcy’s parents are separated and her mum, Renata (Sônia Braga) in between dismissing Tom as a groomzilla (he does want everything to be just so, including the pineapple centrepieces) complains about Robert’s girlfriend, Harriet (D’Arcy Carden) smiling at her.  

To make matters worse, Darcy’s ex boyfriend, Sean (Lenny Kravitz) makes a splashy chopper drop at the wedding (even though he did not RSVP). He hijacks Tom’s speech with sensitive and humorous memories of his time with Darcy in the Peace Corps in Bali, and charms all the wedding guests, including Tom’s quiet, unassuming father Larry (Steve Coulter).

Then as the guests are waiting for the bride to walk down the aisle, while the happy couple are having a shouting match with much “you saids” being thrown around, come the pirates. Shotgun Wedding is supposed to be Die Hard at a wedding… detective John McClane will not be saying Yippee-Ki-Yay to that anytime soon.

The jokes fall flatter than yesterday’s uthappam and blowing up brains is not in very good taste. There is the rom-com, the action movie, the action-comedy or the Tarantino-style dismemberment with gouts of blood. Sad to confirm this one does not fall into any of those categories. Shotgun Wedding lives in its own special cell of hell, where horrible movies go to die.

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