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Home > Shotgun Wedding (2023): A Review

Shotgun Wedding (2023): A Review

shotgun wedding

A Return to Cheesy, Fun Rom-coms

Over the past couple of years, there has been a lack of a certain film film: the rom-com. Gone are the days of You’ve Got Mail, She’s All That, Notting Hill, and The Wedding Singer. A few great ones have been released in recent years such as Palm Springs and The Big Sick, but the number of released romantic comedies has dropped drastically—especially those with prominent stars heading the films. 

Within the drought of rom-coms, Amazon released Shotgun Wedding, a film that felt like a throwback to the types of romance movies released throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Starring Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Lenny Kravitz, and Jennifer Coolidge, Shotgun Wedding doesn’t offer anything new for the genre but rather reminds audiences of the fun to be had with these films.

A Shotgun Blast of Fun

Lopez and Duhamel—the main characters getting married—provide a charming element that feels nostalgic but mediocre. They play into the generic rom-com stereotypes, such as being a couple falling head over heels for each other while having moments of frustration. However, the characters lack any depth or nuance that makes them stand out among the cluttered genre. The lack of character development is excused as the movie focuses more on providing a fun ride rather than being a character study film. 

The rest of the cast fills in the generic rom-com stereotypes, such as the comic relief, the past lover, and the annoying family members. Without these characters, the film most likely would have felt hollow and as if the film was lacking important elements that are usually present in the genre. All of the actors perform the characters well, leaning into the eccentric nature of their personalities. In particular, Lenny Kravitz provides an over-the-top performance that, in other films, would never work. However, Shotgun Wedding’s tone allows for a more chaotic performance. 

shotgun wedding

A Suitable Direction

Jason Moore, the director of the film, failed to provide an artistic or nuanced take with the direction, sticking with a more traditional and standard form. Having previously directed the original Pitch Perfect and 2015’s Sisters, he brings a similar style of filmmaking to Shotgun Wedding. Nothing stands out in the film, nor does the cinematography add any layers to the scenes. However, these elements of filmmaking are forgotten about as audiences are more fixated on the thrills and humor. The lack of creativity in direction and cinematography feels almost expected within a generic film like this. 

An element of the film that felt tiresome was the island setting. There have been countless rom-coms that take place during weddings, especially destination weddings, so the reuse of a tropical location felt dull. Adding to that, the George Clooney and Julia Roberts film Ticket to Paradise, leaned into the throwback rom-com genre. That film also revolved around a wedding set in an oceanic paradise, making Shotgun Wedding feel more derivative than it probably would have having come out before Ticket to Paradise. A simple change in location could have helped give the film a fresh perspective.

A Fun But Lackluster Film

Shotgun Wedding won’t be on any best-of-the-year lists any time soon. The film feels too derivative and lacks any substance to the characters to make audiences gravitate toward them. However, the charming nature of the actors and the humor-filled ride of the story make the hour and 40-minute runtime breeze by. The movie succeeds at its job of entertaining, but it simply does not go the extra mile to provide a film that stands out among the rest in the genre. 

Shotgun Wedding is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Shotgun Wedding (2023): Official Prime Video Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Mason Kupiainen is a recent Butler University graduate with a degree in Creative Media and Entertainment. His work has been published in Butler Collegiate, The Mall, and Byte BSU. Along with written work, he has a videography portfolio with Indy Blue Video, Byte BSU, and Ball Bearings.