Starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel, Shotgun Wedding scoops us to one of the warm tropical islands of the Philipines for a destination wedding; just when we have donned our vacation hats, it screams trouble in paradise. It belongs to the genre of films that starts as a rom-com and quickly sheds the romantic garb midway to become an action film. Shotgun Wedding (2023), however, is an equally fun and boring watch.

Lopez, who starred in one of the best romcoms of 2022, Marry Me (directed by Cat Koiro), plays a bride who must face her wedding jitters and a group of pirates at the same time, while Duhamel plays the savvy bridegroom, who only wants his bride to have the most perfect wedding; together, they make for an unconventionally fun pair.

Jennifer Coolidge, famous for her role in The White Lotus, is also featured in this action comedy, and you can never have enough of her on the screen. Still, the glamour of a destination wedding and Lopez is ultimately lost on the audience because of drab writing. Make no mistake, though, ‘Shotgun Wedding’ has a wickedly twisty plot! This explainer will help you untangle them one by one.

Shotgun Wedding (2023) Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis:

Darcy Rivera and Tom Fowler are in love and have decided to get married after dating each other for four years. To make it a picture-perfect affair, their grand wedding is about to take place on a small Filipino island that is just enough far from the mainland to let the wedding guests ‘live in the moment’. Darcy wanted a small, private affair, but she hasn’t been able to deny Tom’s fascination with a big wedding.

The film opens on the night of their rehearsal dinner. We are introduced to the respective families of the bride and the groom. Darcy’s parents are divorced, her wealthy father arrives at the wedding venue with his new partner, his yoga teacher, and her mum and sister seem to be detectably uncomfortable around them. On the other hand, Tom’s parents seem to be in a ‘happily-ever-after’ marriage. They gift Darcy a couple of cake knives, two heirloom pieces that have passed down the Fowler generation.

Darcy’s ex-boyfriend, Sean Hawkins (played by Lenny Kravitz), makes a grand entry at the venue; he was invited by Darcy’s father. Tom is missing from this rehearsal dinner initially because he is busy decking up a boat in Etsy style for Darcy and him to ride in after their wedding. Sean’s presence at the venue makes him too conscious, and he fumbles with his speech while Sean raises a perfect toast to Darcy and her upcoming wedding.

Later that night, Darcy and Tom are seen conversing about the upcoming wedding in their room when Carol Fowler, Darcy’s mum, drags him away to sleep with them, saying that it was bad luck to be with each other on the night before the wedding. On their wedding day, Darcy seems to be struggling in an elaborate, traditional wedding dress and feels something is off about the whole affair. She summons Tom to a private corner where they can talk about their inhibitions about the wedding before they walk down the aisle.

On the other hand, finding the bride missing from her room, the wedding guests are about to set out in search of the pair when a group of pirates attack them on the island, taking the party hostage and forcing them to stand in waist-deep water in a pool. They demand 45 million dollars from Darcy’s father, who refuses to pay them anything until he could spot their daughter and bring her to him.

Darcy and Tom’s conversation has not ended well, and she leaves to go back to her room, eat chips and wait for the wedding to be called off. However, Tom figured out that a group of pirates had attacked the island, and he must save Darcy now. A pirate soon captures them and ties them together by a rope, but on their way to the gang leader, Darcy tricks them into lighting a cigarette for her. She manages to flee from captivity with Tom before their vehicle falls off a cliff. Together, they put their love and lives at risk as they decide to face the pirates and somehow get to the end of this adventurous detour on their wedding day to save each other and their loved ones.

Who brought the pirates to the island?

Tom already knew that the resort was attacked by pirates last year. However, he had a hunch that it must be Sean’s doing. To test the same, when he surrenders to the pirates and is brought to the pool where the rest of the guests are held captive, he speaks a specific phrase that is bound to stir up anger in any person from Bali who understands their mother tongue.

Shotgun Wedding (2023) Movie Ending Explained

A pirate violently reacts to this phrase, punching Tom in the face, making him realise that the pirates were not locals but possibly from Bali, a place Dary’s father and Sean were familiar with because of their business relations. Margy (played by Selena Tan) also confides in him that the pirates were not speaking in Filipino. It helps Tom connect the dots, making him understand that the reason he had spotted a wedding invite with one of the pirates is that it reached him from one of the guests at the wedding who had not RSVP-ed them. It was Sean; he was planning to get the money from Darcy’s father, which the latter had refused to give him for investment.

Who is the real villain?

Midway through the movie, we find out that Sean is the real reason why the pirates attacked the wedding party on this island. Sean initially pretends that he is innocent and is being falsely accused by Tom; he later drops the act and accepts that he did it to get the money out of Darcy’s father, who had initially refused to pay him for an investment. Shortly afterwards, when Darcy has also arrived at the site, Tom’s father shows them a video recording from last evening that bears proof of an intimate affair between Sean and the woman Darcy’s father is dating, Hariett (played by D’Arcy Carden). This is proof enough that Sean and Hariett were the real villains in the story.

Do Darcy and Tom get married in the end?

Tom and Darcy are clearly on different pages right before the wedding ceremony is about to take place. Darcy has always been wishful for a simple, private wedding, while Tom has made it grand and traditional. They are about to call off the wedding when the pirates attack, and we find them dealing with the pirates and the real villains behind the pirates together till the very end.

Although Tom proposes to Darcy that they start over, Darcy seems unwilling to reset their 4 years old relationship. She kneels before Darcy after they are back on the island at the end of the film to solemnise their wedding. They have learnt the lesson of love the hard way because of how the day has turned out. In the end, they marry as darcy wished. The film ends with the wedding guests, Darcy and Tom partying afterwards.

Shotgun Wedding (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:

Darcy and Tom (after they find out the real faces behind the fiasco) join hands to take the pirates down and avenge their enemies. They try to distract the pirates by proposing they conduct the wedding in the pool itself. They soon overpower the pirates, especially with the help of Carol. The latter takes hold of a gun and scares the pirates away, saving the guests from them. Darcy and Tom make a run for Hariett and Sean.

Sean is constantly trying to talk or chase the couple and primarily injures Tom so that the wedding gets called off. Meanwhile, Hariett manages to injure and throw a pirate off the helicopter they had set out in a little while ago in search of Darcy. Darcy and Tom end up in the boat that Tom was seen decking up at the beginning of the film – with Sean and Harriet following them closely – to reach out for some help.

Sean accidentally gets hoisted on a parachute attached to the boat; its rope is cut by Darcy and Tom using one of the heirloom cake knives gifted to them by Carol. Sean and Hariett die in the middle of the ocean as the parachute and the helicopter respectively come in contact with each other.

Back on the island, Tom proposes to Darcy to give their relationship a try and begin things over, but Darcy proposes to Tom instead. She wishes for their relationship to continue as it is because they cannot deny the lessons they have learnt together when their wedding got endangered by the pirate attack. They get married, and it is a happily ever after.

Read More: Shotgun Wedding (2023) Movie Review

Shotgun Wedding (2023) Trailer

Shotgun Wedding (2023) Links: IMDbRotten TomatoesWikipedia
Shotgun Wedding (2023) Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Coolidge, Josh Duhamel, Lenny Kravitz
Where to watch Shotgun Wedding

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