Reviewer's Rating 1 out of 5  
Just Married (2003)

And they lived happily ever after. Not.

Shawn Levy's romantic comedy picks up where other Hollywood romances leave off. It's "Forget Paris" with a juvenile slant, starring real-life sweethearts Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher as fresh-faced lovers who dive headlong into matrimony.

Some say when love strikes, it's like a bolt of lightning - sitting through "Just Married", you'll wish those storm clouds had packed a few extra volts.

Kutcher is traffic reporter Tom Leezak, who falls for Beverly Hills rich kid Sarah McNerney (Brittany Murphy). Next thing, they're getting hitched and jetting off to Europe where the romantic whirlwind turns into a hurricane of resentments.

Leezak is the parody of an American abroad. Boorish and uncultured, he'd rather watch football than see the sights of Venice with his new bride. Later, when Sarah's old flame (Christian Kane) crashes the honeymoon, it sparks major fireworks. Not the good kind either.

It's an uncomfortable set-up, but this flick will have you squirming for all the wrong reasons.

Kutcher and Murphy are so far off the same page, the Amazon rainforest would need clearing to fill the space between. It's not chemistry that's lacking, simply that Murphy has no comic timing and Kutcher overcompensates.

His mistimed pratfalls and superfluous gurning are a means to distract you from their otherwise banal interaction. If nobody says anything vaguely amusing within five minutes, chances are, Kutcher will fall on his face.

And Murphy will register open-mouthed surprise. Followed by: mock frown.

The script fits in a few decent wisecracks but Kutcher overplays these with his incessant mugging, and Murphy reacts with Canderel sweetness - artificial and obvious.

Watching "Just Married" is like watching your drunken dad on the dance floor. Embarrassing.

Be warned: if you're not the kind who weeps at weddings, this film will change all that.

End Credits

Director: Shawn Levy

Writer: Sam Harper

Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Murphy, Christian Kane, Monet Mazur, Taran Killam

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Length: 94 minutes

Cinema: 21 March 2003

Country: USA

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