Shotgun Wedding Review

Shotgun Wedding
Shotgun Wedding

The pitch for Shotgun Wedding sounds like a great time. The pirates come in and hijack the whole event. What will they do to save the ones they love and their love? All that potential for a good rom-com left is wasted by the irritating script, which makes it appear as if the couple hate each other, and poor comic acting from all of them. Their comedic wings have really been clipped here.

Shotgun Wedding starts well with Darcy (Lopez) and Tom’s (Duhamel) rehearsal dinner at a small resort on Mahal Island in the Philippines. The pair has been together four years now finally planning to get married after Tom retires from pro baseball because he is getting older or weaker physically. He consequently proceeds to play “groomzilla” and tries to organize a perfect wedding for Darcy who only wants to elope. However, their parents, close friends together with siblings have gathered for a destination wedding that is charged with family tensions.

Darcy’s rich father Robert (Cheech Marin) adds Darcy’s smoking hot; bleeding hearted ex-boyfriend Sean (Lenny Kravitz) as a guest at the wedding. Kravitz does well when he chooses his sexuality, making it self-deprecating, thus, heightening Tom’s insecurity complex even further. It then sets off an argument between them before they get married about how their relationship seems to be falling apart just because of this ceremony itself. Additionally, fun may involve attackers invading this paradise hideaway only 2 days away from becoming wife and husband through induction into wedlock.

This spirals into one big fight between Darcy and Tom over pre-nuptials such that they both want out—the topic being pre-wedding conflict –and whether or not should walk down the aisle anyway. Pirates hijack their hotel during a private screaming match earlier; hence Darcy & Tom are able to escape the mass kidnapping, leading to a game of cat and mouse.

One would expect Darcy & Tom to suddenly be thrust into these huge but funny heroic situations where they have to save each other or their loved ones. It kind of turns out that way, except for the fact that “funny” is replaced by Tom and Darcy arguing in every scene as they battle it out with pirates trying to capture them. With the kind of aggression directed at each other, it’s little wonder if any pirate ever can be anything else but a gun-wielding plot device. They end up being accidentally killed by the couple – sometimes in unnecessarily gory ways for this genre – when they cross paths on the beach, in the jungle and within the resort.

Perhaps screenwriter Mark Hammer overestimated how much people outside of sadists would enjoy 100 minutes of two supposedly-in-love people bickering back and forth; nevertheless, it still doesn’t do any favors for those of us who want Darcy & Tom to work out. Their journey becomes a series of mini-therapy sessions off-screen done at inappropriate times wherein they can bash why are so angry/frightened/ambivalent about getting married into each other’s heads or at least recall why they love one another. Did anyone sign up for couples counseling ringside seats in their fun, exotic rom-com?

Director Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) has proven himself capable of making hilarious movies but there isn’t much to joke about here. A lot of the members of the talented comedic ensemble, such as Darcy Carden (The Good Place), Desmin Borges (You’re The Worst), Sonia Braga, and Marin, have been given straightforward clichés to perform. Only Kravitz and Jennifer Coolidge, as Tom’s midwestern mother, Carol, succeed in making something out of their meagre roles. Bless Coolidge screeching, “Check all the ditches!” for at least giving me one major laugh.

Moore also fails miserably with setting up some dynamic action scenes. Granted Lopez looks good in a torn dress holding a gun, but there are no frames that live up to this typical spy movie picture. She is more like an opportunity wasted since scenes that should have put her face to face with saving the day digress into long soliloquies that become maudlin or just stupid without any actual action taking place. In a different film with shrewd writing Lopez and Duhamel could have totally sold this setup. If you want a better version of a couple running away from killers while stuck in a forest Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum did pretty much the same thing in The Lost City (2022) but far superiorly done. Shooting Wedding deserves better treatment than was actually given to it not only for its cast but also for its target audience.


Watching Shotgun Wedding will make you fondly remember every wedding you’ve ever attended where two people who should not be married joined hands together. You may wish Darcy and Tom break up during 80% of their squabble-filled film so we can all avoid sitting through this overly earnest epic that tries our patience for too long. Except for occasional zingers from Jennifer Coolidge, this action romcom is devoid of any sentiment.

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