Just Married

"OK"

Just Married Review


In the screwball honeymoon-gone-wrong comedy "Just Married," giddy-in-love newlyweds Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher are simply too exhausted for sex on their wedding night. Then the next day, a series of mishaps derails their attempt to join the "mile-high club" on their flight to Europe.

There's no nookie that night in their five-star castle-hotel either, because they get 86-ed for blowing out the electrical system by forcing the plug of an American sex toy into a European socket. And the next night in a Venice flop house the mood is spoiled by cockroaches.

Starting to sense a pattern?

The nutty fragrance of a less racy 1960s sex farce hangs in the air as all of this sexual frustration leads the happy couple to a big blow-up, the results of which comprise the film's opening scene: Murphy and Kutcher return from Europe so mutually vindictive that as they walk through the airport to their car, they go out of their way to take ruthlessly funny pot shots at each other. He pushes her into a bystander who spills his coffee down her shirt. She pulls the bubble gum out of her mouth and throws it into his hair, and so on.

Sweetly sexy, supremely underrated Murphy (best known for "Clueless," "Don't Say a Word" and "8 Mile") and dumb-funny delight Kutcher ("That '70s Show") are a pretty well matched comedy team, playing a couple nobody thought would last. He's a graveyard-shift traffic reporter for a news radio station who lives in a low-rent bachelor loft. She's the pampered but down-to-earth daughter of a multi-millionaire businessman (David Rasche from the brilliant, short-lived 1980s cop comedy "Sledge Hammer!"), whose whole family thinks she can do much better.

Their comfortable, charismatic, cute-couple chemistry together breathes spontaneity into their well-written, often overlapping dialogue, and infectious fun into their many predicaments. In one of the funniest scenes in the movie, Kutcher tries to comfort Murphy on their wedding night when she has a Lucille Ball-like breakdown after realizing that her childhood wedding fantasies are all over now and that "Oh my god! Tomorrow my parents are gonna know I'm not a virgin anymore!"

It's just a pity writer Sam Harper and director Shawn Levy ("Big Fat Liar") can't seem to keep the plot at the same level as the acting. When these two meet in Kutcher's how-did-it-all-go-wrong flashback, its because she got bonked in the head by a football he threw on the beach -- a contrivance that has been trite since the days of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.

What's worse, "Just Married" fails to adequately sow the seeds of annoyance that bring about the couple's big fight, since they kiss and make up after every little conflict. Being in love will do that, so in a way this makes them more likable and more human. But there's no build-up, so when they finally fray and turn into amusingly petty love-hate enemies, it has far more to do with where Levy is in the script than with where Murphy and Kutcher are in their relationship.

The storytelling is sometimes sloppy (Kutcher says he "blew the proposal," but if that's true, it must have been left on the cutting room floor) and sometimes hackneyed (a rich rival for Murphy's affections is shoe-horned into the plot). And I really could have done without the twinkly score, the girlie-pop musical montages and the violin-accompanied Author's Message scene in which Kutcher seeks reconciliation advice from his father.

But none of these problems impede the movie's funny concept and fun performances -- and that's what counts.

The comedy is consistently clever ("Look babe! It comes with free nuns," Kutcher cracks when passing some holy sisters in their first hotel). The characters are never caricatures (this is not one of those insulting "romantic comedies" in which the "happy ending" consists of the woman taking back the misbehaving man). And while Kutcher proves he has more range than just playing "duh"-mb guys (see also "Dude, Where's My Car?"), Murphy absolutely shines, proving herself a tremendous comedienne.

If this movie is a hit, she's headed for a Reese Witherspoon-like rise -- hopefully without abandoning her sometimes quirky taste in scripts the way Witherspoon has.



Just Married

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th January 2003

Box Office Worldwide: $101.6M

Budget: $18M

Distributed by: Venus

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Tom Leezak, as Sarah McNerney, as Peter Prentiss, as Kyle

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Advertisement
Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.