Ah the woes of young newlyweds. Such is the topic of the tepid and disappointing new comedy, Just Married. Exploring that thin line between love and hate, this sterile teen flick throws its too young (Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher) stars into a laughless foray chronicling the honeymoon from hell.
Beginning with the end of said honeymoon, the film opens with the return of its two lovebirds. Arriving in Los Angeles from Europe, the bride and groom are, well, physically assaulting each other when we first get a glimpse of them. Shoving and pushing, he ends up tripping her coming off the escalator and she retorts by throwing a wad of gum into his hair. The film then backtracks to expose the evolution of the relationship and reveal where things went wrong.
Tom (Kutcher), an on-air local traffic correspondent, begins the flashback when he starts babbling on his late-night shift about how great things were when he first met Sarah (Murphy). Connecting eyes after he accidentally lobbed a football into her face on the beach, the two immediately fell for each other. And, although her wealthy, snobby family was disapproving of the match from the start, love was in play. So, after a brief domestic stint, the two throw caution to the wind and tie the knot. Then, it's off on a European tour for the honeymoon. But, before they even land over seas, things get off to a shaky start.
From a failed attempt to join the mile high club on their departing flight to the electrical fire he accidentally causes in their rustic Swiss hotel, the honeymoon quickly turns into a comedy of errors. If only it were funny.
Attempting to capitalize on the rising star power of its leads, Just Married suffers from a flat and uninspired script. The canned plot, which offers no hope of surprise or originality from the offset, isn't the real problem here; the film's failing is that the mishaps it presents never become the amusing scenarios that they should. Although both Kutcher and Murphy are given ample opportunity to dazzle with physical comedy, the falling and flopping never amounts to anything memorable. And while both of these young actors have proven they can be amusing and, at times, even funny (Kutcher in his TV series That 70s Show and Murphy in small roles in films like Clueless and Drop Dead Gorgeous), Just Married doesn't give either player enough good material to prove themselves.
The real question that Just Married leaves you with is whether either of these young actors has what it takes to headline a film. Oddly uncharismatic together, Murphy and Kutcher each have an unusual charm when alone on screen. Nonetheless, Just Married reinforces the feeling that each of these actors is best suited to stick with what they're doing now: he with television and her with character roles in films.
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