Weddings are stressful, especially when you bring any and all insecurities into the big day. Add in some pirates, a hostage situation, and in-laws who don’t like you, and well, stress doesn’t begin to cover it. That said, Shotgun Wedding takes hold of the eccentricities of a wedding day, the tropes of an adventure movie, rom-com must-haves, and of course, Jennifer Coolidge to craft an entertaining and hilarious film.
Directed by Jason Moore and written by Mark Hammer, Shotgun Wedding stars Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge, Sônia Braga, Cheech Marin, D’Arcy Carden, and Lenny Kravitz. In Shotgun Wedding, Darcy (Jennifer Lopez) and Tom (Josh Duhamel) have gathered their polar opposite families for the ultimate destination wedding at a resort on a near-private island. When the stress of wedding planning and the guests take their toll, the two start to get cold feet. And then pirates show up, suddenly putting everyone’s lives in danger, and they’re taken hostage and held in a pool. Darcy and Tom find themselves focused on saving their families if they don’t kill each other first.
To put it simply, Duhamel and Lopez have great chemistry. They understand what kind of movie they’re making and put their all into it. Whether they’re being cute and in love or bickering, it works perfectly. The two find themselves in as many action situations as they do comedic ones, making a fulfilling blend of genres for fans of the recent run of action-rom-coms.
While some may scoff at the number of one-liners, each one is given enough space to stick its landing and make you remember it. This is thanks to a cast used to its near-full potential (a little more Cheech Marin would have helped). That said, Shotgun Wedding’s amazing comedic timing is matched by its physical comedy as well. Not only does the film understand how to use Coolidge’s signature humor to the fullest without overdoing it, but it also understands how to create hilarious physical moments. Whether it’s a live grenade, a shotgun, or a dress getting caught in a golf cart about to careen off of a cliff, all of it works. Not only did I belly laugh, but I even let out a couple of claps in the theater as well.
Are there some pacing issues? Sure. Is Lopez’s face way too clean throughout the entire “escape and fight the bad guys” affair with perfect makeup? Also yes. But Shotgun Wedding is a film that just understands how to entertain. It’s funny without trying too hard and has a cast that carries its absurdity with open arms, and the violence adds the perfect punch to the story too. From funny arguments to the comedy of errors that results in escaping pirates, it all just works. I’ll gladly take starting every new year with a new JLo rom-com until she can’t make them anymore.
Shotgun Wedding is streaming on Prime Video on January 27, 2023.
- Rating - 7/107/10
Shotgun Wedding is a film that just understands how to entertain. It’s funny without trying too hard and has a cast that carries its absurdity with open arms, and the violence adds the perfect punch to the story too.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime.