Review: ‘Shotgun Wedding’ is a breezy and brainless time

shotgun wedding
via Prime Video

What do you get when Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge and a bunch of other celebrities head off on a paid vacation and make a movie at the same time? Normally, you’d be right to say, “A late-career Adam Sandler picture,” but this time you’d get Shotgun Wedding.

Lopez’s latest dip into rom-com waters is a dumb, but fun time. There’s a rollicking adventure, attempts at romance, and plenty of beautiful scenery for anyone looking to pass an hour and change, but not a lot of substance at the heart of it all.

Spouses-to-be Darcy (Lopez) and Tom (Duhamel) are prepping for their dream destination wedding. They have everything ready to go, and their family is present for the big day. Of course, there’s also plenty of tension. Tom wants everything to be perfect, even decorating centerpieces in the couple’s hotel room. Darcy seems detached and indifferent, uncomfortable with a big ceremony.

Add in the fact that Darcy’s family has been less than welcoming to Tom, going so far as to invite her ex Sean (Lenny Kravitz) to the festivities. However, all of these problems seem laughable when modern-day pirates crash the wedding, and demand a ransom from Darcy’s rich father (Cheech Marin). It’s up to Darcy and Tom to save their loved ones, and, hopefully, their relationship along the way.

Shotgun Wedding is a mostly fun, empty-headed romp when it gets going. Lopez and Duhamel seem to be having a good time, even if their chemistry onscreen is nonexistent (although the movie insists it’s there constantly). Good for them. The real highlights for this reviewer were Kravitz, getting the chance to flex his acting muscles a bit as a dreaded (maybe sinister?) ex, and Jennifer Coolidge.

Coolidge is usually great in whatever she’s in, and it’s no coincidence that the parts of the movie that generate the biggest chuckles usually featured her. Plus, aside from The White Lotus, who else has had the nerve to give a Coolidge character a gun? The good news is, she does a better job handling firearms here and makes the movie 10 times more fun all-around. Also worth mentioning is D’Arcy Carden, who gets to have some fun outside her usual performance style here and is good at it, too.

If you’re looking for a glossy, breezy time, Shotgun Wedding will be right up your alley. If you’re looking for chemistry, substantive humor, and meaningful filmmaking – look somewhere else. Lopez and company try hard to sell it, but the effort fails to go anywhere deeper than the surface.

Middling

If you’re looking for a glossy, breezy time, 'Shotgun Wedding' will be right up your alley. If you’re looking for chemistry, substantive humor, and meaningful filmmaking - look somewhere else.