Now I know, in the past, that I have poo-poo’d several Jennifer Lopez movies, particularly those of the romantic-comedy variety. I simply was not entertained, on top of the blantant transparency that those stories and plots offer. As usual, I kept an open mind when going into the screening of J-Lo’s newest movie Shotgun Wedding. It just isn’t fair to either the filmmakers or the actors to judge a single movie, completely based on the previous work of the star. Thankfully, this time, I was very pleasantly surprised. While the movie does have its obvious rom-com elements, the big surprise was that I found myself laughing heartily throughout the entire affair.

Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel star as Darcy and Tom, two fiancees that are about to get married. While it is usually the bride who painstakingly obsesses over all of the nuptial details, for this destination wedding, it has been Tom who has worked feverishly to put together a romantic event for the wedding party and their guests to enjoy. For the ceremony and after-party, Tom has selected a beautiful island in the Phillipines. At first, there are the usual hiccups that come from such a grand event; however, things get further complicated when a group of terrorists seize the island and take the wedding guests hostage. Before the armed gunmen can capture the soon-to-be wife and husband, the couple decides to take matters into their own hands.

Written by Mark Hammer, and directed by Jason Moore, Shotgun Wedding might have the usual trappings of a rom-com, but it also delivers hilariously funny comedy, and fun action thrills. I had such a great time with this movie that the times the movie made me roll my eyes are totally forgivable. The filmmakers and their cast have come up with some great physical gags, quotable lines, and just great silliness that all adds up to a joyfully side-splitting experience.

In addition to both Lopez and Duhamel, who work very well together, share great chemistry, and exercise solid comic timing, the movie features an awesome supporting cast, most of whom contribute beautifully to the comedy. The film also stars Sonia Braga, Cheech Marin, Lenny Kravitz, the often hilarious D’Arcy Carden, Callie Hernandez, and Desmin Borges. The absolute stand-out of the movie, however, is Jennifer Coolidge who is an absolute riot as Tom’s mother Carol. She has some of the funniest lines and even gets to have even more fun in an action sequence.

Shotgun Wedding is now available for streaming via Amazon Prime, but was so much fun, I think it actually deserves to be seen in theaters. Unfortunately, that won’t happen here in the U.S., but perhaps will play theatrically in other countries. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this movie, wherever one can watch it.

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