Jennifer Lopez on ‘Marry Me’ movie: ‘It’s literally going behind the veil of what it’s like to be a celebrity’

Published February 8, 2022, 4:54 PM

by John Legaspi

Bringing the magic of romcom flick back to the cinemas

People from different worlds cross paths and find themselves on a journey of love. That has been the most used formula for a romance movie—it even dates back to William Shakespeare’s finest work. But in Jennifer Lopez’s latest film, the star-crossed lovers’ tale falls into a setting close to the actress’ life.

“Marry Me” presents Lopez and co-star Owen Wilson in a story that is meant to be showcased on Valentine’s Season. Talk about the reverse of life imitating art, Lopez in the film portrays pop star Kat Valdez, who learned her fiance was cheating on her on the day of their big wedding in front of her loyal fans. “In a moment of inspired insanity, Kat locks eyes with a total stranger (Wilson) in the crowd and marries him on the spot. As forces conspire to separate the unlikely newlyweds, they must soon decide if two people from such different worlds can find true love together,” as the synopsis goes.

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez

“This movie, for me, was very personal. I really understood this life. It’s literally going behind the veil of what it’s like to be a celebrity,” the lead actress says. “There was so much about it that I could understand—like nobody else could understand. She has been in the business for a long time. She has some ups and downs in her personal life.”

Apart from giving a view of a star’s life through romcom genre lenses, the movie also spotlights Lopez’s musical artistry through an album that will definitely make hearts aflutter as they hear its tracks on the film. From the titular “Marry Me” and the infectious “Pa Ti,” “Segundo” and “Church” to the melancholic “Love of My Life” and the anthemic power ballad “On My Way,” the signature songs of Lopez, Maluma, and fellow contributors infuse the soundtrack with joy, heartbreak, and healing, as Lopez’s character learns how to move on from an unthinkable pain.

“This is also the first time that I’ve been able to make an album with a movie, which has been a dream of mine,” Lopez says. “It’s the first time I’ve done a movie with music since ‘Selena,’ and in that film, they used Selena’s voice, so I never got to sing myself.”

“‘On My Way’ is the film’s love theme,” producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas says. “What I love so much about it is that it says, ‘Everything I did, I now realize I was on my way to you—and you are on your way, too.’ It embraces the mistakes of your life, and the fact that you couldn’t see the truth until you took a jump off a cliff.”

Known for his incomparable work in compositions from “The Greatest Showman” to “The Last Temptation of Christ,” maestro John Debney’s challenge with “Marry Me” was to create a score that fused seamlessly with the songs that Lopez et al were creating for the film. “Both Kat Coiro and Jennifer gave great notes about where to play long themes and where not to do so,” Debney says. “It was wonderful to get direction from them. Jennifer was playing the piano and coming up with a melody. I took that melody and hinted at it. It was a trial and error. If Kat felt we were getting too much of a certain theme or scene, we’d pull it back.”

The film’s wedding scene

Director Kat Coiro can’t wait for audiences to experience it all. “We have million-dollar concert productions in one scene and a quiet moment with Jennifer solo at a piano in another,” Coiro says. “We want to take audiences on both an emotional and musical journey from Kat’s public persona to her private one.”

“As a filmmaker, I want to make people feel good,” the director adds. “It might sound cheesy, but the world is so dark these days that it’s a breath of fresh air to have something that legitimately makes people smile.”

“Marry Me” is a Universal Pictures International pre-Valentine release to open in Philippine cinemas on Feb. 9.

Watch the trailer here:

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