Just Married
2 out of 5 stars
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There's nothing wrong with this romantic comedy, but there's nothing particularly interesting either. It's efficient and cute, well-played for the most part and not terribly funny. We begin with Tom and Sarah (Kutcher and Murphy) returning from their honeymoon spitting with fury, not just refusing to speak to each other, but aggressively at war. We then retrace their romance in flashback from their first meeting, lightening romance, meeting her stinking rich parents (Rasche and an uncredited Cartwright), coping with Sarah's "perfect" ex (Kane), interference from the friends (Moscow and Mazur), a short engagement and the dream honeymoon in Europe, during which everything goes wrong ... and then some. We never for a second doubt where it's all heading.

Basically, it's Kutcher's off-handed performance that makes the film watchable--he's hilarious, relaxed and thoroughly engaging, even when he's behaving like a heel. Murphy is also quite good, but slightly more mannered, while the rest of the cast are barely on screen long enough to register. They work very well together, although their chemistry seems forced and only stays believable because we like each one individually. The situations are disastrous in a cute sort of way--quirky but gentle jabs at American-European conflicts, ludicrous coincidences, the bumpy path of true love, and so on. It's very easy to sit through, continuously engaging, sporadically humorous and generally endearing. But there's not a single surprise anywhere (except perhaps that it never veers into gross-out territory), and as the plot gets more and more predictable the filmmakers try desperately to win us over with increasing levels of energy and silliness. Fortunately, with Kutcher and Murphy on hand, we're already hooked.

cert 12 themes, language, innuendo 5.Mar.03

dir Shawn Levy
scr Sam Harper
with Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Murphy, Christian Kane, David Moscow, Monet Mazur, David Rasche, Veronica Cartwright, Raymond J Barry, Toshi Toda, Thad Luckinbill, David Agranov, Taran Killam
release US 10.Jan.03; UK 21.Mar.03
03/US 1h37

So whose is this? Sarah (Murphy) confronts Tom (Kutcher) with the evidence of his crime...

kutcher murphy
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2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall