LONDON: Cinema, in its purest form, is about escapism. And what could be more escapist than a rom-com starring Jennifer Lopez as a bride whose extravagant beach wedding is gatecrashed by a group of pirates?
Throw in Josh Duhamel as her slightly dopey husband, Lenny Kravitz as a handsome ex-boyfriend and Jennifer Coolidge as her future mother-in-law and you have got just about everything you need for a couple of hours of mindless entertainment.
Just as Darcy (Lopez) and Tom (Duhamel) are having doubts about their imminent nuptials, they find themselves the only ones not taken hostage by a band of fearsome brigands. Sneaking around their luxury destination wedding, the feuding couple must put aside their doubts and team up to save their family and friends.
High art this is not – but that is no bad thing. “Shotgun Wedding,” directed by “Pitch Perfect” and “Sisters” helmer Jason Moore, is a goofy, lovable riot. It flips a bunch of rom-com tropes on their head, has a charismatic lead in Lopez and – most importantly – does not take itself too seriously.
It also has a secret weapon in Coolidge, who is finally getting the plaudits her stellar comedic talents have long deserved, and who absolutely runs away with the movie as Tom’s mother, Carol.
It is not all seamless, for sure. There are some hinky effects work on the set pieces, a few narrative leaps that are telegraphed about an hour in advance, and some rather plodding exposition right around the time the action starts to ramp up.
But “Shotgun Wedding” is such dumb fun it is hard to hold a grudge. It won’t alter your perceptions, and it won’t make you reassess your life choices, but it will make you laugh. And, let’s face it, watching J-Lo whoop a bunch of terrorists is a decent way to spend a couple of hours.