Isn’t It Romantic

Natalie (Rebel Wilson) is no fan of the rom-com. She thinks romantic movies are not for her – perhaps love itself is not for her. She feels invisible most of the time. She’s timid at work. She doesn’t think that anything magical will ever touch her life.

And when she gets mugged on the way home from work one evening, it seems like an affirmation of all of the above – except when she wakes up, the bump on her head has her living in an alternate universe that resembles very closely the rom-coms that she so spurns. The rules and the irony are simple: she’s got to make someone fall in love with her to escape this fate, and suddenly the hunky billionaire who  never noticed her before is all over her.

The movie rolls its eyes at all the usual romance cliches, but then indulges in them in a riot of colour and open-armed enthusiasm, as if mocking the tropes gives permission to MV5BMjI4Mjg3OTk0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTM3MzEzNzM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1485,1000_AL_be unabashedly embrace them. But whatever, it’s fun, or fun enough. Rebel Wilson makes it work just by virtue of her own irrepressible personality. Larger than life, she somehow sells both sides of Natalie’s persona, the wallflower and the cheeky peony she becomes. Reteamed with Adam Devine, her cocky love interest from Pitch Perfect, the two have an easy chemistry that’s fun to sing along with – and believe me, this movie has more sing-along opportunities than most. You’ve really got to be on board with the vibrant cheese in order to enjoy this movie. It pretends to be cynical but it’s really not. If your sense of Valentine’s is at all gothic or ironic, move on. Love is in the air, in a pretty conventional way. Isn’t It Romantic is a piece of fluff that will soon be forgotten in the rom-com canon, but it’s light and airy and a fairly entertaining 90 minutes. More or less.

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13 thoughts on “Isn’t It Romantic

  1. Sean

    The fact it bought into the rom-com tropes was problematic. I thought the “real world” bookends were largely convincing in their attempts to make New York and its residents look normal but a lot more could have been done with that. Instead the film turned into a very generic rom-com, even more generic than most because it didn’t try to set itself apart other than being the anti-rom-com rom-com for the first five minutes.

    You didn’t mention it in your review but you made a great point that this movie inadvertently shows the “normal girl” problem that Hollywood has, by having a couple films now where a non-size-zero leading woman has confidence but only due to a contrivance, either Amy Schumer’s concussion in I Feel Pretty or Rebel Wilson’s alternate reality here where her life is like a movie. It’s a big problem that is not worse than the status quo but is about as bad because it’s being sold as progress and it’s not.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Ugh yes. I don’t know why Hollywood hasn’t noticed, but the rest of us fall in love too. I mean, I don’t mean me. Ours is not a rom or a com. At best we’d be one of those rude, quirky, experimental movies that no one ever watches.

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  2. Liz A.

    I have Issues with this movie. That’s why I’m going to pass. These Issues might be blown up in the hype around the movie, and it might be a just fine film. But the way it was marketed…

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  3. Jason

    To me, I loved it. I knew that the movie wasn’t going to be anything grand or new, but I though that the movie was handled quite well that both poked fun at romantic comedies as well as being a “love letter” to the genre (as a whole).

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