JUST MARRIED is a movie about two newlyweds who find out that marriage is more than just fun and games. When Sarah McNerney’s mother asks her if she’s certain about marrying so young, Sarah (Brittany Murphy) replies that her favorite thing about her fiancé, Tom Leezak (Ashton Kutcher), is his spontaneity. Throughout the course of the movie, she discovers that endearing quirks and passion alone won’t sustain a marriage.
Sarah is from Beverly Hills, the youngest daughter of a ritzy family, and Tom is the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. They meet by chance when Tom lobs a football on the beach and strikes her on the nose by mistake. This leads them to a bar for a round of pool and some conversation, and eventually into bed at her apartment. Tom tells us, via his narration, that a month later they moved in together, and nine months after that, in the process of covering up the accidental death of Sarah’s beloved dog, Bags, he asks her to marry him.
The movie opens as the two characters dash through a crowded airport, knocking each other into things, pushing things in the way to trip each other, and otherwise doing their best to torment one another. As they pull away from the parking garage, their car still bears the words “Just Married” across the back windshield. Tom drives Sarah to her house and leaves her, followed by her promises to clean her stuff out of his apartment in the morning. Sarah’s big sister takes her inside as Tom speeds away, but is surprised when Sarah crumples on the staircase, tears filling her eyes. Across town at his job as the graveyard shift traffic reporter for a local radio station, Tom is in the same emotional state. The movie flashes back to his memories.
Though their marriage was dogged by warnings and cautions, Tom and Sarah ignored the misgivings of Sarah’s family and married. As Sarah remarks when Tom mentions her family’s harsh comments, “When did we start caring about what other people think? I love not knowing [what will happen].”
As it turns out, Sarah cares very much about knowing what will happen. After a wedding night that left them too exhausted to consummate their marriage (which was already consummated anyway) and a foiled attempt to have intercourse in an airplane bathroom, they almost wreck their rental car in the French alps. Then, they get evicted from a five-star hotel after Tom destroys the electrical wiring by trying to plug in a sex toy. All the other hotels nearby are booked, and they spend the night in their car trapped in a snowdrift. After many other disasters throughout their European tour, both Sarah and Tom are ready to call it quits. Tom laments that a marriage has ruined his perfect relationship.
The humor of JUST MARRIED lies in the fact that all of their disastrous escapades prevent them from consummating their marriage on their honeymoon. As a light comedy that is entertaining, frenetic and well-made, the movie deserves some attention. Both Kutcher and Murphy are talented young actors. Their comedic timing and chemistry is excellent.
Although much of the film revolves around the issue of sex, and the characters live together before their marriage, JUST MARRIED ultimately presents marriage in a charming light. Rather than end the movie at a wedding, as most romantic comedies are wont to do, JUST MARRIED shows what happens after the characters say “I do.” Though the details of a marriage are not always the most flattering or comfortable, it certainly is a desirable social institution.
Several times during this movie, Sarah proclaims that love is enough to sustain a marriage. Tom’s father, however, speaks wise words that ultimately become the movie’s thesis. When his son comes to him with news that the marriage is over, Mr. Leezak tells him “You never see the hard days in a photo album, but they’re the ones that get you from one happy snapshot to the next.” Inspired, Tom speeds off to reclaim his wife’s heart and prove that what they thought was love wasn’t enough to keep them together, but true love, even when it’s hard, is.
Although JUST MARRIED contains some moral elements (such as love draws family members together and conquers their differences, Tom’s father tells him that marriage is about work and love, not simply happy moments, and Tom flees temptation), it has a Romantic worldview, including slight disrespect of priest and a brief sarcastic remark about the Bible as well as a greedy, mean-spirited father who must be convinced that his daughter’s marriage will work out. The movie also has more than 45 obscenities and profanities and brief scatological humor, and the mother-in-law’s nickname (Pussy) becomes an off-color joke. There is also much slapstick violence, including Tom and Sarah shoving each other and throwing things, Sarah hits Tom in the head when she throws a heavy ashtray at him, an electrical shock starts a small fire, Tom crashes his car into his in-laws’ gate and some of their statuary, and Tom angrily chases his rival with a poker. The featured characters live together before they get married. There are also discussions of marital intercourse and attempts by other people to seduce the married couple, one of them an unknowing seduction. The movie also contains other objectionable elements (see the CONTENT section above). Thus, JUST MARRIED requires extreme caution, especially for children and teenagers but also for many adults.
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Peter Chernin, Chairman & CEO
The Fox Group
Tom Rothman & Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. & News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
(Ro, Ab, Acap, B, LLL, VV, S, N, A, D, M) Romantic worldview, including slight disrespect of priest and Bible (brief sarcastic comment), with a greedy, mean-spirited father who puts down boy because of wealth, as well as moral elements such as love draws family members together and conquers their differences, husband's father tells him that marriage is about work and love, not simply happy moments, and husband flees temptation; about 30 obscenities (mostly a--), six strong profanities, nine light profanities, and Mom's nickname (Pussy) becomes off-color joke; much slapstick violence includes married couple shoves each other and throw things, bloody nose, wife hits husband in head when she throws heavy ashtray at him, electrical shock starts small fire, crashing car into gate, and man chases rival with poker; no depicted sex scenes but two characters live together before they get married, discussion of marital intercourse, married couple tries to have intercourse, but is often comically interrupted, trampy girl in bar tries to seduce married man, husband lies to girl in bar, girl tricks husband to bring her to his hotel room where she continues her seduction and takes off her bra (no frontal nudity, however), husband complains that the first sex he got on his honeymoon was a man checking him for drugs, attempt to plug in sex toy on honeymoon, boy hides in girl's room with intention to sleep together without parents knowing, and young man thinks back to holding STAR WARS lightsabers as phallic symbols as a youth; nude rear view of woman's upper body, brief cleavage shot of wife in airport, upper male nudity as husband wraps sheet around his waist (non-graphic); social drinking, champagne toast, talk of drunkenness, wife gets tipsy; smoking; and, lying, wife and husband taunt each other on trip back home, and shady and greedy maitre d' helps seductive man try to steal man's wife.
GENRE: Romantic Comedy