Isn’t It Romantic.
We’ve had a lot of “women gets hit on the head” movies recently, including What Men Want and I Feel Pretty. We got another entry here with Isn’t It Romantic but the story beats might be getting a bit predictable, so let’s see if this movie can stand out from the crowd.
Meet Natalie (Rebel Wilson), a cynic who was raised believing that love isn’t for everyone and that girls like her don’t get happy endings. She’s an architect and has a coworker (Adam Devine) who has a crush on her, though she’s oblivious, and an assistant (Betty Gilpin) who slacks off constantly. Things aren’t working out for Natalie, until she hits her head and wakes up to discover that her reality is now stolen from a romantic comedy movie, including the Australian heartthrob (Liam Hemsworth) and gay best friend (Brandon Scott Jones). Her friend Josh (Devine) meets and falls in love with a model (Priyanka Chopra). Can Natalie figure out what the lesson to learn is here? And how does she return reality to normal?
As a comedy, this movie works. It’s clever and hilarious to both fans of romantic comedies and people that abhor them. You’ll laugh as the movie makes these choices but then acknowledges these choices, so it’s incredibly self-aware. Rebel Wilson carries the movie, but a special shoutout goes to Adam Devine, who has an incredible chemistry with her and also manages to provide both comedy and sentimentality.
In terms of how the movie is made, I appreciated the stark contrast between the two realities. It’s not just the world that’s different, but the movie is shot differently. It feels like two separate directors at work. The style totally works.
I also appreciated the soundtrack to the film, not usually something I bring up. Here, though, it deserves a mention for bringing in the best themes for romantic comedies of all time, using each one to perfect dramatic effect. It’s a playlist you’ll likely want to look up for the drive home following the movie.
What doesn’t work?
While this movie turns the romantic comedy cliche on its head, it also ends up being just as predictable as the movies it’s making fun of, so don’t expect anything too crazy or unconventional here, it’s all pretty standard.
I wasn’t impressed with either Liam Hemsworth or Priyanka Chopra here. Maybe it’s because they were written as incredibly flat and uninteresting characters, but the actors didn’t feel as authentic in their roles and had a few cringeworthy moments.
It’s kind of weird that Isn’t It Romantic satirizes the genre of romantic comedy but is still a fairly average example of one. It’s clever and funny, for sure, so if you’re looking for a good time at the movies, this will do it, but I don’t know if you’ll remember this movie in a few weeks time. An average score is still good, but I don’t know if this movie will end up being one of the better romantic comedies in the genre’s catalogue.