Freeze Frame: “Death on the Nile” (PG-13), “Marry Me” (PG-13), “I Want You Back” (R)

If you’re in the mood for an old-fashioned Turner Classic Movies-style whodunit, look no further than “Death on the Nile.” Director/star Kenneth Branagh is back as Agatha Christie’s erudite detective Hercule Poirot, whom we last saw in 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” Now, we see Poirot working on a murder case among the wealthy elite on an Egyptian cruise. The glitzy cast also includes Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Russell Brand and Annette Bening. The movie’s flashy direction gives it a sheen of artificiality that, strangely enough, works in its favor. Currently in theaters only, “Death on the Nile” is a glossy homage to movies of a bygone era.


Just in time for Valentine’s weekend, Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson team up for a far-fetched rom-com “Marry Me,” now showing in theaters and streaming on Peacock. J. Lo plays a music superstar who, when she discovers her fiancé has cheated on her, proposes to a random fan in her concert’s audience. Wilson naturally plays that random guy. Sadly, Wilson is miscast and he and J.Lo don’t seem to share any on screen chemistry. Sarah Silverman has some funny moments in an all-too brief supporting role.  Despite its flaws, “Marry Me” is still a mildly amusing diversion, thanks in part to a batch of new pop tunes that should please J.Lovers.


There’s yet another Valentine’s weekend rom-com that’s for folks who want to stay home on the couch with Amazon Prime. “I Want You Back” is a raunchy affair starring Charlie Day and Jenny Slate as eccentric strangers who agree to work together to break up the new relationships of their respective former lovers. It’s all very contrived and predictable, but Day and Slate each possess a certain offbeat appeal that gives “I Want You Back” a modest boost.

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