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Just Married

Chemistry is a key ingredient in any romantic relationship, but it can't be the only ingredient if you're in it for the long term. There has to be something solid underneath the fizz and the fun. The same is true of a successful romantic comedy, which is why Just Married (2003) never quite clicks. As Tom and Sarah, a young, idealistic pair who skip to the altar after less than a year together, only to discover during their European honeymoon that marriage is hard work, Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy interact like a real twosome: Their goofy moments seem sweetly genuine, and their exasperated bickering rings true. And had director Shawn Levy and screenwriter Sam Harper chosen to focus on Tom and Sarah's actual relationship, rather than throw them into a series of outlandish jams, the film might have had a chance to become more than an hour and a half of predictable fluff. Instead, the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. grapple with tiny European cars, have a mishap with a (gasp!) sex toy, stay in a dump that makes homelessness appealing, and blow up over the kind of misunderstanding that used to drive the kids crazy on "Three's Company." They also start to realize just how different they are; with a lack of subtlety typical of the film as a whole, Tom is a blue-collar jock who never saw a sports bar he didn't love or met a Frenchman he didn't condescend to, while Sarah is a privileged princess who loves art, culture, and five-star hotels. Can love overcome odds like that? In real life, it's hard to say, but in Hollywood the answer is easy, which is why Just Married never has very much dramatic tension. Even tossing in handsome, rich "other guy" Peter Prentiss (Christian Kane) doesn't do much more than irritate, since he's so smarmy and out of place. The truth at the heart of Just Married is an important one — it does take more than love to make a marriage work — but it's not one you need to watch the movie to learn for yourself. Fox's two-sided disc offers both full-frame and anamorphic (1.85:1) transfers, both of which offer English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (other options include French and Spanish 2.0 Surround tracks and English and Spanish subtitles). Both sides also boast a chatty commentary track with Levy, Kutcher, and Murphy; other extras include a "Reel Comedy" episode from Comedy Central, a very brief "making-of" featurette (at less than four minutes long, it's basically an extended trailer), and four deleted scenes with optional commentary. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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