Spoiler Alert! This piece contains MAJOR spoilers for the film “Shotgun Wedding,” so turn back now if you haven’t watched it yet!
Just as the premise of “Shotgun Wedding” fuses romantic comedy and action, the ending also combines those two elements, but not without some twists and turns.
“There are a couple [twists] towards the end that I know actually surprised the audience,” director Jason Moore told TheWrap in an interview. “In our test screenings we actually asked, ‘Did you see this coming?’ and 95% of the people said no, so it’s fun to have a movie that has a couple of secrets inside of it.”
Starring Jennifer Lopez as bride Darcy Rivera and Josh Duhamel as groomzilla Tom Fowler, the film unfolds as the engaged couple welcomes their extended family and friends to the Philippines for their destination wedding. Pirates interrupt what could have been a typical ceremony, bringing stunts, choreography and adrenaline into play for the happy couple and their wedding parties.
Among the guests, invited and uninvited, are Darcy’s divorced parents Robert (Cheech Marin) and Renata Ortiz (Sonia Braga), her sister Jamie (Callie Hernandez) and Tom’s happily married parents Larry (Steve Coulter) and Carol Fowler (Jennifer Coolidge). Debatable guests of honor include Robert’s young girlfriend Harriet (D’Arcy Carden) and Darcy’s ex-fiancé Sean Hawkins (Lenny Kravitz), who was also invited by Darcy’s father Robert. The pirates, of course, did not RSVP.
“We’re lucky to have good actors all across the board, but I did very much think about if there going to be certain reveals about the trails, or the kinds of characters that these people are, that you want them to not seem like that at all,” Moore said. “I think in the world, people are actually really good liars, better than we think they are. So you need someone who really plays that kind of first truth well.”
Tom traces the pirates’ arrival to Sean after he finds Sean’s wedding invitation in the pocket of one of the crew, so he exposes the suave ex-fiancé’s true motives. Sean confirms that he did plot to take Robert’s money (the whole reason the pirates take all the wedding guests hostage and threaten them at gunpoint.) But in one more surprise plot point, D’Arcy Carden’s character Harriet turns out to be in on the scheme as well.
“It’s like a double twist, which I love, and then I love that it’s Harriet who you kind of count out the whole time. “She’s just this hippie dippie weirdo, not threatening. You’re kind of like ‘Get out of here. You’re in the way,’” the actress told TheWrap over zoom. “Not only is she in on it, she is it. For Harriet, she’s been planning for this day as long as they’ve been planning for this wedding This took as much planning as Tom did for the wedding. This is a big day for her too.”
The couple becomes separated from the crowd when the pirates attack as they’ve gone off to have an argument right before they’re supposed to walk down the aisle. Tom returns to the guests held hostage in the resort pool, and he says Darcy went elsewhere on the island to look for cell reception. Sean takes some of the pirates to go search the rest of the island by helicopter.He also takes Harriet as collateral, but really, as Larry Fowler diligently captures on his digital camera, Sean and Harriet are in cahoots criminally and romantically.
“I don’t think I knew any twists. I just knew this description of Harriet, which was maybe ‘There was something more than meets the eye’ but I don’t think I knew really where this was going,” she continued.
Sean finally enters the fray with a kayak paddle and Harriet with a gun. Their attempts to overpower the bride and groom backfire once Tom slides down a deployed parachute rope with custom-made hair extensions and the parachute, with Sean still attached, gets sucked into the helicopter’s propeller, killing Sean and Harriet in a fiery explosion.
“There is a version of the ending where Lenny Kravitz and I are covered in blood and still living. So we have like a bunch of pictures of us totally, like bloody and scarred up and burned up and stuff, which I’m sure I’ll plop on the old gram at some point,” Carden said. But yeah, I think that was the most, as far as I can remember of alternate endings.”
Moore encourages rewatching the film to catch things missed on the first go-around.
“I think there are comedy moments that are classic and are rewatchable and codable. I tend to like movies like that, and I’ve made movies like that,” he said. “It’s a real thrill ride. It’s only 90 minutes long. You can turn it on and enjoy it and then there’s also a little bit of a mystery, whodunnit t inside of it. So if you go back and watch the second time then you’ll see more clues that are right there in front of you, but you don’t notice until you watch it the second time.”
“Shotgun Wedding” is now streaming on Prime Video.