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Just Married (2003)
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Review Date: January 16, 2003
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Sam Harper
Producers: Robert Simonds
Actors:
Ashton Kutcher as Tom
Brittany Murphy as Sarah
Christian Kane as Peter
Plot:
A regular JoBlo type of guy meets the girl of his dreams on the beach and it isn't long before they fall in love and get hitched. Their first piece of business is flying off the Europe for their fantasy honeymoon, but unfortunately for the lovebirds, it doesn't go exactly as they planned. In fact, mucho problemos ensue. And oh yeah, did I mention that the bride's ex-boyfriend also decides to pop in for a visit? A real marriage ensues.
Critique:
First up, I'd like to add a personal note and say that you know you're "over" your ex- when you can watch a "romantic" movie and not think of her the whole way through. Nice. As for the film itself, it's pretty charming, funny in some moments, romantic in others, but pretty "fluffy" overall with very little originality or depth to it. The main reason that I was amused through most of this film was because of the solid chemistry between Kutcher and Murphy, both of whom put forth credible performances, ranging from goofy and over-the-top, to sincere and loving. A tough act to pull off in these types of flicks but the duo, as well as the entire film filmmaking team, managed to pull off a nice balance. Having said that, the laughs in the film weren't exactly of the "fall out of your seat" variety and neither were its romantic bits a la GONE WITH THE WIND. What you have here is a serviceable movie that doesn't play things too dumb and doesn't get too deep, but does offer charm, plenty of beautiful scenery, a nice pace and not too much to think about afterwards. It actually reminded me a lot of A GUY THING, which came out only a week after this movie, with both films' lead actors making the whole of the picture better than the sum of its parts. The one big difference between the two movies is that this one was more romantic and serious at times, while A GUY THING was more on the funny side. Both are pretty "so-so" overall though...video fare.

This film features a few stale jokes, a number of pratfalls that aren't necessarily funny and some uninteresting secondary characters as well, but with Ashton Kutcher in the driver's seat, and Murphy's infectious smile and googly eyes charming us along, I guess I was fooled into enjoying myself somewhat (or maybe I really did enjoy myself a little...still not sure). As per most disposable comedies, your connection to the lead actors can only enhance your overall enjoyment. If Jason Biggs and Drew Barrymore were cast as the leads here, I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed even half of the half that I did, just so you know. Kutcher just cracks me up (his reaction to the cockroach is priceless), and I especially love when he "loses it" ("Son of a beeyatch!!") One funny mofo. He also seems like a genuinely "nice guy" and that always helps for roles as such. The soundtrack, on the other hand, was pretty "blah", although I did like the homage to TRUE ROMANCE (or was it?), as well as one particularly genuine scene between Kutcher and his pop. I bought it! In the end, nobody's going to be renting tuxes for next year's bullshit Oscar presentations for this flick, but if you're in the mood for romance, getting together with a girl/guy as we speak or just want to get in from the snow...you can do much worse than this film. Not exactly the highest praise for a movie, but then again, this isn't exactly the kind of movie that's shooting for the stars (although it did somehow beat THE TWO TOWERS at the box-office in its first weekend...great counter-programming move by Fox).
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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