‘Shotgun Wedding’ review: A bombastic, chaotic, but pretty forgettable event

Viewers may come for Jennifer Lopez, but a game Jennifer Coolidge is the true life of the party

Fabian Hasan Khan
Published : 29 Jan 2023, 01:30 PM
Updated : 29 Jan 2023, 01:30 PM

The trailer for the Jennifer Lopez vehicle Shotgun Wedding showcases a goofy, action-packed premise, but, for my money, its highlight was the other Jennifer in the cast, Jennifer Coolidge.

The inimitable comedienne was a staple of American comedies like Legally Blonde, American Pie, and Cinderella Story, but dropped off the radar for a bit. Recently though, she’s seen a deserved resurgence in popularity, especially after a fantastic turn in The White Lotus.  

She continues that streak by being, comfortably, the best thing about the whole of Shotgun Wedding too. The chaotic high-concept rom-com is action-packed and overflowing with jokes, but doesn’t actually leave much of an impact.

The movie starts with Darcy (Jennifer Lopez) and Tom (Josh Duhamel) and their respective parents getting ready for their big day. But, in typical rom-com/soap opera fashion, there’s some immediate friction between Darcy and Tom’s parents, especially Carol (Coolidge).

The jokes come thick and fast, but Coolidge is the only one putting together a string of hits. The rest of the cast stumble badly, but her comedic timing and distinctive delivery lifts the first half of the movie. That is, if you can get past the cinematography. Director Jason Moore was also responsible for Pitch Perfect, which is kind of surprising considering how far off-key his work is here.

To be fair to Lopez, though, she nails the best line of the movie (Hint: the one about the best plans).

You would hope things would liven up a bit when Darcy’s ex Sean (Lenny Kravitz) ‘crashes’ the party, but the repeated punchlines about Kravitz’s himbo energy and unbuttoned shirt must have looked better on the page, because they sure don’t work on screen.

Things do, eventually, kick into higher gear on the day of the wedding. Just as Darcy seems to be getting cold feet, or at the very least the sense that ‘something isn’t right’, we come across a group of party crashers who are going to add the shotgun to the titular wedding. A gang of raiders take the event hostage, cutting off the internet and phone service. Naturally, chaos (of a limitedly violent nature) ensues. Is that a spoiler? Probably not. The movie has less of a plot than a series of events scribbled onto post-it notes.

That’s not to say the movie's a complete failure. It’s just easy to make fun of when you’re vegging out. For fans hoping for the rom-com return of Jennifer Lopez, this movie should scratch that itch. You might also like it if you prefer your rom-coms with more than the usual number of explosions. There’s even a few chuckles here and there.

But for fans of Coolidge, The White Lotus, which just wrapped up a second season, is the better proposition. I just hope she didn’t throw out her back while carrying this movie.

This article is a part of Stripe, bdnews24.com's special publication with a focus on culture and society from a youth perspective.