Jennifer Lopez (left) as Darcy Rivera and Josh Duhamel (right) as Tom Fowler star in “Shotgun Wedding” (Photo Credit: Ana Carballosa/Lionsgate).

(“Shotgun Wedding” trailer courtesy of Prime Video)

There’s nothing wrong with a DIY (do it yourself) wedding.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to lower the cost of a wedding because many of the best marriages had lackluster weddings.

However, when cutting costs leads to having a wedding on an obscure island, which is often terrorized by pirates, sharing the rest of one’s life with someone might not be a long proposition at all.

In “Shotgun Wedding,” the term opposites attract applies but in a different way than “You People,” which begins streaming on Netflix today.

“You People” brings together two people who have nothing in common from a visual aspect.

However, “Shotgun Wedding” brings two people together who look good together.

Unfortunately, their bank accounts (or the bank accounts of their families) look like complete opposites.

In “Shotgun Wedding,” Darcy Rivera (Jennifer Lopez) comes from money thanks to her wealthy father Robert Rivera (Cheech Marin).

However, Darcy is determined to be independent and not rely on Daddy’s money, even if it is for the most important day of her life.

On the contrary, Tom Fowler (Josh Duhamel) is just a commoner who never quite achieved greatness even though he always seemed to be on the cusp of greatness.

Tom is a middle-aged man who has spent his entire professional life playing minor league baseball, never setting himself apart from the competition which would have given him a chance at Major League Baseball.

Despite his professional failings and lack of riches, Darcy still loves him.

However, Darcy and Robert remain in touch with Darcy’s ex-boyfriend, Sean Hawkins (Lenny Kravitz).

Although Darcy did not invite Sean to the festivities, Robert still has a soft spot in his heart for Sean, probably hoping that he will become his son-in-law and not minor league Tom.

In “Shotgun Wedding,” Tom definitely sees Sean as a threat.

Why else would he come to his ex-girlfriend’s wedding if he did not have an ulterior motive?

Regardless, Tom’s DIY wedding does not even give him the opportunity to fret over Sean’s foolishness.

Tom has too much on his plate the day before the wedding like making the centerpieces, making sure the music playlist is appropriate and entertaining guests at the rehearsal dinner.

In “Shotgun Wedding,” Tom tries to do so much the day before the wedding that he falls into the water trying to paint “just married” on a boat.

To make matters worse in “Shotgun Wedding,” Tom and Darcy must deal with normal wedding stress like many other couples.

What do you do when one parent arrives with their new mate and the other parent hates both the ex and the ex’s new flame?

What do you do when random people in the wedding party drink too much and hook up the night before the wedding, with one person wanting to continue the relationship while the other regrets the encounter?

And what do you do when one parent constantly interrupts the future married couple’s last moments of intimacy as “single” people?

Furthermore, is it really bad luck for a couple to spend the night together the night before the wedding?

Tom’s future mother-in-law un-affectionately begins calling him “groomzilla,” comparing him to those crazy a$$ brides on the television show “Bridezilla” that put their future husbands through hell to get their wedding 100 percent right.

However, none of those normal problems compare to the ridiculous problem that jumps off when pirates storm the island and take the wedding guests hostage?

The pirates want the bride and groom.

However, they are nowhere to be found at the time of the brazen act.

But can the bride and groom rescue the captured wedding guests before it is too late?

“Shotgun Wedding” has several things going for it and number one on that list is Lopez.

The former “In Living Color” fly girl looks more fly in 2023 than she did in the early 1990s and she shows it off in “Shotgun Wedding.”

If a person has it, they should flaunt it and J-Lo has it and flaunts it as she should.

But in “Shotgun Wedding,” Lopez also flaunts her action skills because once Darcy gets over her fear of blood, she makes sure the opposition begins to shed some blood themselves.

Furthermore, “Shotgun Wedding” has the ultimate cougar in Jennifer Coolidge (“American Pie”), who plays Tom’s talkative mother, Carol Fowler.

When the pirates take the wedding guests hostage and ask for a specific person, Carol is the one who dimes that person out even though that person is obviously trying to remain incognito.

Although “Shotgun Wedding” has some amusing moments, the laughs are sophomoric.

That reality makes “Shotgun Wedding” somewhat mediocre in comparison with “You People,” which it will directly compete with this weekend.

While the laughs in “You People” are thought-provoking and intelligent, “You People” relies more on slapstick humor.

Therefore, the two movies might appeal to and/or disappoint different groups of fans.

However, what “Shotgun Wedding” has in common with “You People” is it does contain a message once audiences get past the jokes.

In “You People,” the message is true love sees no color, religion or size.

And the message in “Shotgun Wedding” is no marriage is perfect.

As a result, it does not matter if a future spouse pulls of the perfect wedding, has the best job or comes from generational wealth.

Regardless, marriages will hit rough patches and will take much work to become successful.

And when it comes to a successful marriage, the DIY approach is the only thing that can keep the fire lit in any union.

“Shotgun Wedding” begins streaming today on Amazon Prime Video.







Todd A. Smith
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