While the original meaning of a shotgun wedding implies the girl being pregnant, which leads to a hurried ceremony, the 2022 romantic comedy “Shotgun Wedding” spins a new sense of urgency in the wedding ceremony of Tom and Darcy. Played by Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Lopez, respectively, Tom and Darcy plan to have an intimate wedding ceremony with their loved ones on a private island. They go to the Philippines with their families to get married. Barring a few arguments between the bride and the groom and palpable tension between the two families, things seem to be going well. However, the island is prone to experiencing pirate attacks every so often. Unfortunately, a group of pirates takes every wedding attendee hostage demanding a ransom from the bride’s father.
Directed by Jason Moore, the movie is one hell of a ride with love, drama, comedy, and action. The situational humor, along with some very quirky characters, makes for a good watch. Furthermore, the unforeseen circumstances surely make things interesting, but the characters’ individual struggles and actions take the movie a notch higher in entertainment. We see Jennifer Coolidge in her usual charisma along with the dashing Lenny Kravitz, who play supporting roles in the movie but don’t shy away from standing out in their demeanors. Let’s take a more in-depth look into the vivid characters who shone ever so brightly in “Shotgun Wedding.”
The female protagonist of the movie is not the blushing, shy bride we usually see in movies and shows. Darcy Rivera is a strong and fierce lady who revels in her independence and freedom. She does not want to be tied down or lose her liberty after getting married. She is her own person who can take care of herself well enough. Darcy is a lawyer by profession, and that reflects in her usual behavior as well. She can be a little defensive and closed off. At the beginning of the movie itself, we learn that she insists on paying for the ceremony out of her own pocket rather than taking her rich father’s money. This shows how Darcy values her opinions and having things done her way. Even though her mother urged her to take some money and help, Darcy turned her down.
Moreover, Darcy is a child from a broken home. Her parents are separated, and her father even has a younger girlfriend. Looking at her mother sad and dejected all the time, Darcy learned to step into the guardian’s shoes to look after her mother and her sister. In many instances, she had to grow up before her time. With utmost love and affection, she talks to everyone at the rehearsal dinner and mingles well with the family. Everyone on Tom, her fiance’s side of the family, also loves her.
In a very moving moment, Tom tells Darcy that her strong and independent attitude is just a facade for a scared little girl underneath. We believe she had to adopt such a cover to not let other people walk all over her. Darcy tries her best to be resilient and unwavering in the face of adversity. But, like any other person, she also gets afraid and scared at times. In that very aspect, Darcy expects reliability and dependency from Tom. Darcy wants him to be there for her and love her like nobody else ever has. At the end of the day, that’s all any of us want. Furthermore, she let go of the way she wanted her wedding so that Tom could be happy. Darcy wore Tom’s mother’s dress for the ceremony despite her strong dislike towards it. She also never wanted a lavish wedding in the first place.
Most importantly, Darcy is extremely smart and resourceful. When the pirates take everyone hostage, she keeps her differences with Tom aside and focuses on rescuing her family and friends. She only panicked because of the grenade and her discomfort in the dress. The rest of the time, she only fixated on finding solutions to the problems. Darcy handled a gun when she had to and even blew up bad guys to save herself and Tom. She is a badass in every definition.
We are introduced to Tom as he prepares a very sweet and romantic surprise for his wife-to-be. Darcy wanted to elope and get married in the middle of the ocean. Tom keeps a boat ready on the dock so that the newly married couple can take the boat out and get some alone time with each other. Even though he gets late to the rehearsal dinner because of this, it all seems worth it because Tom’s heart is in the right place. He loves Darcy a lot, and the same is reflected in every conversation they have with each other. Their relationship is stronger than ever until Darcy’s ex-boyfriend, Sean, arrives on the island. Consequently, Tom’s jealousy and paranoia take over his calm demeanor. Tom tries to keep a straight face but fails because of how Sean acts.
Moreover, Tom tries extremely hard to get Darcy’s father, Robert, to like him. Ultimately, his desperation to please Robert backfires, and they end up on awkward terms. It is established early on in the story that Tom is a bad liar. We believe his honest and loyal personality prevents him from lying or cheating. Tom is the perfect man for Darcy as they are opposites in nature, but they bring out the absolute best in each other. By profession, Tom is a baseball player and a good one at that. Additionally, he loves his parents and aspires to have a marriage like theirs. Tom is one of the few guys who actually care about having a perfect wedding ceremony. He planned everything and prepared well for the big day.
On the other hand, Tom overthinks a lot. He could not stop thinking about why Darcy left Sean, and he kept wondering if the same would happen to him. Tom could not shake the thought of Darcy changing her mind at the last second and calling off the wedding. His paranoia and his over-functioning brain cooked up scenarios, and he feared the situation where he could be left alone at the altar. This paved the way for Darcy to realize how Tom has a self-sabotaging attitude. He thinks something bad will happen to him; he convinces himself of it and then goes on to make it happen by himself as well, thus forming a self-fulfilling prophecy. The same happened with his baseball team, with Darcy’s dad, and now with the wedding. Furthermore, this is also an attribute of a controlling person who needs every event in his life measured and controlled. By acting on his sabotaging thoughts, Tom veered away from unpredictability and did whatever he thought was right.
Nonetheless, in the end, Tom is the one brave person who figures out who is behind the pirate charade and protects his loved ones. His courage and his spirit allow him to stand tall against the evil pirates. Tom lets go of his bitter anger and puts all his energy into saving the love of his life. His never give up attitude also helps in getting out alive from the hostage situation.
Sean is the root of all problems in the movie. His arrival causes a rift between Darcy and Tom as he continues to make uncomfortable remarks. His presence makes Tom jealous, and even Darcy does not want him there. Robert forces Darcy to invite him, as he is on good terms with Sean. Moreover, he is selfish and self-obsessed to such an extent that he gives a speech at his ex-girlfriend’s wedding where he talks about their past relationship and tells everyone how they were once engaged. Sean’s charming persona fools everyone present as they sway blindly to the tune of his false words.
The climax of the movie reveals that Sean hired the pirates to extract money from Robert. The depths of malice in him are unbelievable. He puts the lives of everyone in jeopardy only to get money in return. Robert had refused to give Sean money for an investment, and thus, this is how Sean prepares to seek revenge. Somewhere deep inside, he still has feelings for Darcy, and this is why he does not hurt her. However, Darcy only loves Tom and does not want to be with Sean. His uncontrollable hunger for success and money is the reason why Darcy had broke off their engagement.