Producers: Jennifer Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, John Rogers and Benny Medina   Director: Kat Coiro   Screenplay: John Rogers, Tami Sagher and Harper Dill   Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, John Bradley, Sarah Silverman, Chloe Coleman, Michelle Buteau, Stephen Wallem, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Jimmy Fallon   Distributor: Universal Pictures

Grade: C

Comic books often serve as source material for movies nowadays—some would say far too often—but this rom com belongs to a particular subset of them, being based on a webcomic (or graphic novel, if you prefer the more exalted designation) by Bobby Crosby.  “Marry Me” has been refitted as a vehicle for Jennifer Lopez, but the premise remains as silly as it must have been on the original unprinted page (Crosby’s comic has since, of course, been turned into a conventional printed one). 

The idea is that a fabulously popular singer—here called “Kat” Valdez (Lopez)—is scheduled to introduce her new song, “Marry Me,” in a live broadcast with her fiancé, equally popular singer Bastian (Maluma), and the two will then wed on air.  But when she finds out he’s been cheating on her, she tearfully breaks up with him and impulsively proposes to a member of the audience, Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), a divorced middle-school math teacher.  He’s been dragged to the event by his colleague/best friend Parker (Sarah Silverman), whose sign reading “Marry Me” he happens to be holding at the time, and says yes because, as he later explains, it appeared to him that Kat was on the verge of a breakdown and needed some support.

Kat’s manager Collin (John Bradley) convinces good-natured Charlie to take the quickie ceremony seriously for a few months, just to let questions about Kat’s stability calm down.  You know the drill from this point on.  Though they come from the proverbial two different worlds, these two intrinsically nice people warm to one another over time, though Charlie isn’t at home with the celebrity culture and Bastian isn’t about to give up. 

And so there are hiccups along the way to a finale in which Kat desperately attempts to get to Peoria, of all places, in time to cheer on Charlie’s darling daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman) in the annual math championship, having taught the girl to overcome her propensity to choke by doing a dance to cease worrying over the computations and just do them.  Naturally the ever-supportive Parker is, as usual, wherever she needs to do to help things along—she’ll ever deter the paparazzi by shooting off a fire extinguisher in their faces.

That finale gives Lopez to perform the rom com ritual of running breathlessly through an airport to get to her destination (in clacking high heels, no less), though in the end se has to take a bus.  And before that the script has made her into a thoroughly endearing figure by having her spending plenty of time at Lou’s school, hanging out with the math kids, going to a dance, and even inviting the music teacher (Stephen Wallem), as big a fan as anybody, to accompany her on the guitar while she serenades the enthralled students.

Lopez handles it all nicely enough—and there’s the song catalogue she and Maluma offer, which will no doubt appeal to their fans.  But the person who really makes things work at all is Wilson, whose hangdog charm is just what the script calls for; had he pressed more, the flimsy scenario would have fallen apart.  Coleman manages not to irritate, which is more than can be said for Silverman, who comes across as more obnoxious than funny, Michelle Buteau as Kat’s snippy assistant, and Utkarsh Ambudkar as a rival math coach.  Everybody else, including the other tykes, are pretty much on autopilot under Kat Coiro’s easygoing direction; but it’s becoming increasingly annoying for movies to use TV hosts, like Jimmy Fallon here, as props to advance the narrative whenever convenient.

The picture has been produced in the glossy, fairy-tale style common to these flights from reality.  The production design (Jane Musky) and cinematography (Florian Ballhaus) give the images luster, and Lopez’s costumes (by Caroline Duncan and Diras Guillart) are predictably flattering.  John Debney’s background score plays second fiddle to the songs, while Michael Berenbaum’s editing is a mite slack; some discreet cuts would not have been out of order.

If you don’t mind its utter preposterousness and sappiness, “Marry Me” will go down easily.  If you do, your date might feel differently.