Cinema North Dakota: “Shotgun Wedding” with Minot’s Josh Duhamel (and also Jennifer Lopez) | February 22, 2023

First of all, you should know that Josh Duhamel doesn’t take his shirt off at all in Shotgun Wedding (Prime Video), not once.  Despite being wet for approximately 20% of the movie – it takes place on a Philippine island which he falls off of in the first thirty seconds – Josh Duhamel is clothed 100% of the time.  He removes his jacket at one point and you think, “Whoop, here we go,” and then nothing.  So, if you watch actionantic (that’s action and romantic mixed together, which I came up with myself) comedies, which Shotgun Wedding is, because you want to see Josh Duhamel with his shirt off, be prepared to be disappointed.

On the other hand, if you watch romaction (maybe that’s better) movies because you want to see Jennifer Lopez’s rockin’ body, then you, my friend, ARE IN LUCK.  JLo’s contract for Shotgun Wedding clearly required her to rip off a portion of her clothing every ten minutes, and with a lot of explosions and a robust cast of “Hey, that guy” character actors (Jennifer Coolidge, Lenny Kravitz, D’Arcy Carden, Cheech Marin, Steve Coulter, Sônia Braga, Callie Hernandez), the producers obviously couldn’t afford to have a single scene with her in a sweatshirt.

Here’s my review: Shotgun Wedding is pure entertainment.  I was entertained for the entire one hour and forty minutes.  I laughed out loud a bunch of times, and Kyle even went “Ha” once, which used up his allotted delight for the week because Kyle is not a laugher.  If I was sitting around folding laundry and Shotgun Wedding came on the TV, I would watch it again.  Is it the greatest romaction movie ever made?  No.  Is it the greatest romaction movie made in 2022?  In The Lost City Channing Tatum takes his shirt off so you tell me.  If you decide to peruse Shotgun Wedding because you’re in the mood for la cinema magnifique, well…you need to improve your critical understanding of previews because Shotgun Wedding does not hide its true self.  I mean, the movie poster has JLo with a cake knife in her belt and Josh Duhamel scratching the back of his head looking confused, which basically sums up the entire plot of the movie.

Here’s an extended plot summary: It’s the eve of Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Lopez’s destination wedding.  Josh, a newly-washed-up minor league baseball player (this is repeated throughout the film as a way to “Add depth to the character” and “Give JLo a reason to make silly faces” and “Allow Josh to hit a grenade with a chunk of wood shaped like a baseball bat so as to tie the whole thing back together”) has channeled all of his baseball energy into Pinteresting the crap out of the wedding.  Jennifer, on the other hand, isn’t into it because her dad is rich and could have paid a wedding planner to do all of the Pinteresting, and also because she wanted to elope since her parents are divorced and her mom wears her hair in a bun as proof that she is no longer happy.

Her dad (Cheech Marin) is rich, dating a yoga instructor (D’Arcy Carden) and has invited Jennifer Lopez’s ex (Lenny Kravitz) to the wedding because “He lives in Bali” and destination wedding guests are selected based on proximity. Lenny Kravitz shows up literally on top of the rehearsal dinner in a helicopter, decked out in what looks to be a set of pearls from a child’s dress-up box.  Everyone loves Lenny Kravitz because he is not wearing a shirt.

The wedding day arrives and JLo texts Josh something on the lines of “Something isn’t right, we need to talk.” Josh, as an adult with the ability to comprehend English, presumes she wants to call the whole thing off.  WRONG.  She just wants to apologize for trying to get him to stop glue-gunning fairy lights to pineapples (not a euphemism) so they can have some pre-wedding night hanky-hanky.  While they are arguing about something that could have been a text message, pirates invade the wedding and force all of the guests to stand in the pool until Cheech transfers over $40 million of his $60 million net worth (I guess they don’t teach “liquid assets” in pirate-ing school).  Instead, Jennifer Coolidge, playing Josh’s mom, gives everyone something better than money: comedy.  Also, Cheech says he’s not givin’ nobody nothin’ until they bring him his daughter.  Challenge accepted.

The rest of the movie is JLo and Josh running away from and inadvertently (and sometimes advertently) killing bad guys, and Jennifer Coolidge being Jennifer Coolidge.  There is quite a bit of fire, an inconsistent amount of blood, and a number of very concerning injuries that do not concern people at all.  JLo is the boss and brains behind the operation, having mastered the arts of ziplining, dress ripping, boat driving, and burning up people’s heads (not a euphemism) prior to her trip to the island.  For his own part, North Dakota’s favorite son treats all guns like they are loaded, even though anyone with a weapon likes to pump/rack it over and over and over prior to “firing it” into the crowd (spoiler: Despite a Star Wars-quantity of bullets flying around from what should be empty guns, only two people are minorly injured).  Also, there is a musical number.

Despite the fact that JLo and Josh reiterate the message of the movie every time they tear an item of clothing, I’m not exactly sure what that message is – maybe that not all marriages are perfect?  Or that marriage means you need to be yourself?  Or that grenades don’t fire until you lift the handle and count to five?  One of the most memorable lines to me was the most subtle: after running through the jungle, Jennifer and Josh find themselves in the resort kitchen surrounded by what should have been their wedding dinner.  Jennifer starts shoveling down what I think were chilled scallops (movie food is VERY IMPORTANT to me, I pay VERY CLOSE attention and I NOTICE when the actors just hold the food in their mouths or push it around their plates and don’t eat it) and Josh says something like, “How can you eat at a time like this?”  And she shoves a scallop in his mouth and says, “Here, you’re grumpy.”  Which was a very marriage-y thing to do.

I’m not giving anything away when I say the movie ends happily ever after for everyone (including the pineapples) except for the resort owners, who now have an insurance nightmare on their hands.  The credits has JLo both singing and dancing, which was pretty fun. I don’t have a ratings system, but if I did, I would give Shotgun Wedding 4 out of 5 ranch dressings.

The image above is, clearly, the movie poster for Shotgun Wedding.

This isn’t really news, but it IS a sweet story of paraprofessional Jackie Freitag, who helps her students get excited about music. (KFYR TV)

Fargo’s Tom and Wendy Folkestad are the FIRST North Dakotans to ever win the Publisher’s Clearing House grand weekly $10,000 prize. (Fargo Forum)

The line-up is set for the North Dakota State Fair, including Ludacris, T-Pain, Eric Church, Five Finger Death Punch, and Brad Paisley. (Minot Daily News)

If you’ve ever though, “Boy, I wish I could gain weight like a walk-on football player” well then here’s a recipe for you. (Fargo Forum)

West Fargo’s Johanna Loiseau was one of Rihanna’s backup dancers for the Super LVII Half-Time Show. (Fargo Forum)

Coming soon to Cinema North Dakota: End of the Rope, which was filmed in North Dakota and is the story of the Charles Bannon case. (US 103.3)

Watford City’s Mitch Haugeberg has been able to fund his family board game thanks to a very successful Kickstarter. (KFYR TV)

Students at Bismarck’s Wachter Middle School spent the day outside trying out kick sleds and snowshoes. (KFYR TV)

The Fargo-Moorhead Opera’s Young Artist Program recently put on three mini operas, entitled, “Love Bites.” (Fargo Forum)

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