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Just Married

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Just Married

Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Murphy
Director: Shawn Levy
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 95 Minutes
Release Date: January 2003
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Christian Kane, Taran Killam, Monet Mazur, David Moscow, Joe Vassallo

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

JUST MARRIED, by director Shawn Levy (BIG FAT LIAR) and writer Sam Harper (ROOKIE OF THE YEAR), is a funnier and sweeter movie than you probably expect. A real crowd-pleaser, it is an adult romantic comedy with a teen comedy flair. The movie's special ingredients are two absolutely charming performances by Ashton Kutcher (the star of DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR) and Brittany Murphy (Eminem's girlfriend in 8 MILE). They play Tom Leezak and Sarah McNerney, a recently hitched pair off on a European honeymoon from hell.

The movie's running gag is that Tom and Sarah continually face impossible situations which cause them to fight, after which they unsuccessfully attempt to make love. The gags are filled with classic pratfalls, mixed in with fresh material. They crash into snow banks, and they share bloody nose problems together. It's hard to be romantic, no matter how good looking your spouse is, if you both have tissues hanging from your nostrils.

Tom is a traffic reporter on the radio who fills in on the graveyard shift. He's a sports fanatic whose first question when checking into a five-star hotel is about the availability of ESPN. As rich as Tom is poor, Sarah is a Beverly Hills girl who's obsessed with ancient art frescos. He's tall and surfer dude handsome, and she's short and cute as button.

With charming chemistry together, the two wonderfully likeable stars steal your heart in every silly scene. When Tom and Sarah look at each with starry eyes, you'll believe it every time. These are two young adults hopelessly in love and hopelessly lost in coping with the world. As they laugh their way through their predicaments, you'll be laughing -- hard -- along with them.

The never-ending cycle of fighting, laughing, making up and not having sex is, of course, eventually broken, but not until the very end. There aren't any twists in JUST MARRIED, but there is more than enough fun, thanks to Kutcher and Murphy. With anyone else, the same material would likely have been as smelly as the airplane bathroom in which Tom and Sarah try, as always without consummation, to make love. But, as cast, the picture is a delightful trifle.

JUST MARRIED runs 1:34. It is rated PG-13 for "sexual content, some crude humor and a brief drug reference" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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