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‘Marry Me’ Director Kat Coiro Says Embracing Rom-Com Tropes ‘Unabashedly and Unapologetically’ Was a Priority (Video)

Coiro tells TheWrap that her mindset was to ”lean into all the cliches“ and ”not be afraid of them“

“Marry Me” is now in theaters and streaming on Peacock, just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend. And yes, it is truly a good old-fashioned rom-com — director Kat Coiro made a point to ensure that.

The film’s star Jennifer Lopez may be the queen of the early 2000s romantic comedy, but Coiro notes that when putting together “Marry Me,” she wasn’t trying to imitate any of those. Really, there wasn’t a single movie in particular that Coiro was trying to emulate at all.

“I think it was less about what I wanted to emulate and more about embracing the genre as a whole,” Coiro explained to TheWrap. “And I really look at the rom-com as one of the most enduring genres that has existed since, you know, all the way back to Charlie Chaplin, you have rom-coms. And so looking at it, it was like, let’s lean into all the cliches and all the tropes and not be afraid of them, and just go ‘Yes, this is our genre, but come along on this journey that is particular to this story.'”

“Marry Me” tells the story of Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) who is set to marry her fellow popstar boyfriend Bastian (Maluma) on stage, after singing their hit song “Marry Me.” Instead, Kat learns just before her entrance that Bastian cheated on her. So, instead of marrying him, she picks out a random guy from the audience — Owen Wilson’s Charlie — and marries him on the spot.

From there, the two embark on a series of interviews, live-streamed “dates” and yes, eventually, actual dates. Why Charlie? Well, he was holding a friend’s (Sarah Silverman) sign that literally said “Marry Me.” And yes, that was a deliberate rom-com easter egg. Coiro made sure to include a whole bunch.

“We have a reference in the first five minutes to ‘Pretty Woman,’ we have a sign being held out which, everyone knows what that is. We have running through the airport,” Coiro continued. “And I think there’s — I think people get very caught up in worrying about treading familiar territory. But to me, it’s like, we have characters that haven’t been seen, we have concert sequences that hadn’t been seen. So why not say yes, we are unabashedly and unapologetically a rom-com that has gained strength from all the rom-coms that have come before us.”

You can watch Coiro talk about the rom-com nature of “Marry Me” in the video above.

“Marry Me” is now in theaters and streaming on Peacock.