Shotgun Wedding review: Not even Jennifer Lopez can save this mess of a film

Shotgun Wedding headerAmazon Prime

Shotgun Wedding is the latest romantic comedy by entertainment icon Jennifer Lopez. However, the new Prime Video release fails to use its ensemble cast well and as a result, is the latest wedding film that can be given a pass from audiences hoping to find a new classic rom-com.

Directed by Jason Moore, Shotgun Wedding is a romantic comedy with an action-oriented twist. It’s the latest Jennifer Lopez film and also includes the likes of Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge, D’Arcy Carden, Lenny Kravitz, and many more well-known actors and comedy icons.

The film features Lopez back in a romantic comedy setting as the leading lady, Darcy. Her future husband Tom – played by Duhamel – plans their Wedding in the Philippines, obsessively constructing the event in hopes that it will kickstart the perfect marriage for the pair.

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When tension flares and Darcy’s commitment issues come back to the surface, the two are forced to put their issues aside as a group of criminals arrive on the island, capture the wedding guests and hold them hostage.

As a result, Darcy and Tom must help save their loved ones and – in the process of this journey – come together to rediscover their love and talk through their issues. Unfortunately, no amount of star power in the cast can tie the knot here as Shotgun Wedding quickly falls apart once action gets underway.

This review will be delving into plot details and character details, so beware of spoilers ahead.

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Shotgun Wedding features a great cast that is greatly underutilized 

It’s a shame really, as Shotgun Wedding boasts a solid ensemble cast. With both Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Coolidge paired up on screen, Shotgun Wedding wastes its star power. A bare-bones script and surface-level character development hold the film back from what could have been a great comedy-filled romp.

Despite the lack of depth in the script, Coolidge is a stand-out in her minor role, stealing every scene she is in and making the most of her screen time as she usually does. Fans of White Lotus will certainly appreciate her appearance in this new film.

And while Lopez has built an acting career as a leading lady in the romantic comedy genre, Shotgun Wedding does not compare to other classics she has done in the field. 

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Shotgun Wedding body imageAmazon Prime
Shotgun Wedding stars Lenny Kravitz, Jennifer Coolidge and more.

The unknown, unnamed “pirates” that invade the Philippines are as generic as they are useless. Their inclusion in the film – and the eventual reveal that Lenny Kravitz and D’Arcy Carden’s characters (Sean and Harriet) were behind the whole invasion really made no sense. Their motivations are as thin and poorly explained as their character introductions and inclusion in the film.

Shotgun Wedding includes action, romance & comedy but fails at all three

While merging tones and genres can be a recipe for success when it comes to romantic comedies of the modern era, Shotgun Wedding’s attempt at blending the typical conventions of the genre with action turns out more like a disaster. The movie isn’t charming enough to be a romance and the comedy falls flat while action is poorly constructed.

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Shotgun Wedding body 2Amazon Prime
D’Arcy Carden in Shotgun Wedding

So while it tries to do it all, the movie fails to do any of it with any amount of success. Rather than committing to the idea of creating a genre-bending movie, it leans into classic stereotypes more than it needs to. When it does show snippets of diversity or freshness, it quickly shuts them down in favor of leaning into a more archaic narrative.

One that has been told time and time again and executed in a much more polished fashion than what this film does.

The Verdict – Is Shotgun Wedding good?

Shotgun Wedding fails on most fronts. Lopez and Duhamel do their best to bring heart and charisma to the soulless narrative, but even they cannot bring this film to life.

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For those hoping to see another classic Jennifer Lopez rom-com, you’re better off going back and rewatching some of her older films. For those also wanting a fun action movie, Shotgun Wedding is also not worth the watch.

Shotgun Wedding review score: 2/5

While Shotgun Wedding boasts a bubbly and engaging cast, the writing, direction, and lackluster plot all hold the movie back from what could have been a truly fun and action-filled romantic comedy.

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