Volume 96, Issue 58
Tuesday, January 14, 2003

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MOVIE REVIEW: Just Married
Movie and marriage both fail

By Ryan Grosman
Gazette Staff

Just Married
Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Murphy, Christian Kane
Directed by: Shawn Levy

Gazette file photo
"MOM, DAD - MEET YOUR NEW DAUGHTER-IN-LAW." Newlyweds Tom (Ashton Kutcher) and Sarah (Brittany Murphy) strike a pose in Just Married.
Just Married tells the tale of a young couple, Tom Leezak (Ashton Kutcher) and Sarah McNerney (Brittany Murphy), whose perfect relationship turns sour after they get married.

In true romantic comedy style, Tom and Sarah come from different sides of the tracks. Sarah's family is wealthy and sophisticated and her father is a successful businessman, while Tom works the graveyard shift as a part-time weather reporter for a radio station. Due to Tom's crude mannerisms and low economic status, Sarah's family (especially her father) greatly disapproves of their marriage.

The film begins with Tom and Sarah at the airport, returning from their honeymoon in Europe. The newlyweds are clearly mad at each other, pulling spiteful pranks on one another.

Most of the story is recounted in flashback, as Tom sits in his booth at the radio station and contemplates what went wrong with his perfect relationship. He reflects back on the time when he and Sarah first met, their wedding and their honeymoon from hell, comprised of a predictable series of trials and tribulations.

One of the main problems with this film is its attempt at being a romantic comedy. It seems to lack the key elements of this genre – romance and comedy. The attempts at comedy include a running joke of the couple trying on numerous occasions to have sex, such as in the bathroom of the airplane, but for one reason or another, it doesn't work out.

In his portrayal of Tom, Kutcher rarely departs from his other, more well-known roles, as Kelso from That '70s Show and his character from the critically acclaimed film (ha ha) Dude, Where's My Car?. However, he does show some signs of being sensitive and passionate.

Murphy, who is best known for her roles in Don't Say a Word and the Eminem flick 8 Mile, is adequate in her performance as Sarah and displays good on-screen chemistry with Kutcher.

The film also tends to communicate a number of contradicting messages. It suggests that love is not enough to sustain a marriage, but, at the same time, it suggests that love is indeed enough.

Unfortunately, after a great opening, the film fails to maintain the viewer's interest and subsequently goes downhill.

Overall, Just Married is, at best, just a rental.


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