Wilson Wants Somebody To Love In “Isn’t It Romantic?”
By Scott Kurland
Film: Isn’t It Romantic?
Starring: Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra, Betty Gilpin, Brandon Scott Jones, and Jennifer Saunders.
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
The one thing you can count on for movie season is the abundance of romance movies in February. That’s why this week’s film “Isn’t it Romantic?” is kind of important to talk about. Here’s a film that is marketed as an anti-RomCom, it makes fun of RomComs, and yet… it is a RomCom. It was produced and stars Rebel Wilson who continues her pattern of playing the lovable Australian girl who is dorky and self-aware. Also, once again, Adam Devine is her love interest. Let’s dive deep into this movie and find out why a satire is actually in the genre it’s making fun of shall we?
“Isn’t It Romantic?” is about Natalie (Wilson), a young architect residing in New York City. Natalie has no confidence in herself as a young professional or as a viable romantic option for men. This all stems from Natalie being told at young age by her mother (Jennifer Saunders) that Romantic Comedies are nothing but lies. Girl like her don’t get to be the “Pretty Woman”. In turn, Natalie has led a life of cynicism and refuses to take risks. After she is injured in a mugging gone awry, Natalie wakes up in the hospital only to discover that her fresh start comes in the form of a 90’s style, PG-13 Romantic Comedy. Now, Natalie must go through the entire movie premise in order to get out of her “Twilight Zone” nightmare. Ultimately, Natalie finds a strength in herself that only Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, and Anne Hathaway knew were written into their characters.
I found this predictable story very likable. Wilson takes her voice and dives head first into the source material. As Natalie, Wilson is the only individual ballsy enough to point out how ridiculous romantic comedies can be. For instance, the offensive cliché of the “gay best-friend” played to perfection by Brandon Scott Jones. Wilson highlights why this stereotype is ridiculous, but as producer she makes sure that Jones isn’t there for decoration. He gets a heartfelt moment to explain his character’s motivation. Yes you heard me correctly, Ms. Wilson is the producer of this film and has final say in big script decisions. Well - I should say Wilson and Director Todd Strauss-Schulson. Together Wilson and Strauss-Schulson bring us an enjoyable 90’s love letter. Are there problems with the movie? Yes. Can one look past them and have a great time at the movies? Absolutely!
What I really liked about “Isn’t It Romantic?” was Liam Hemsworth as the beefcake love interest Blake. Like his Thor-ish brother Chris, Liam has amazing comic timing and knack for this genre of film. Sure he mainly stars in action movies or dramas, but I truly think if Hemsworth got into more comedies like his brother, he’d have a tremendous career. Some of the ridiculous things that come out Hemsworth’s mouth are worth the price of admission alone. Hemsworth gets to be the over-the-top comedian while comedy regular Adam Devine gets to be the straight man. That was a switch that I rather enjoyed quite a bit.
“Isn’t It Romantic?” does have a few flaws, but I laughed a lot and had a great time. Everyone in the screening seemed to be having a blast which is the sign of a good romantic comedy. I will say there were moments that dragged and I started to feel bored in the final act of the film. Its the two musical numbers that won me back when I felt myself losing interest. Wilson is adorkable, Hemsworth is hysterical, and I surprisingly liked the shipping of Adam Devine and Priyanka Chopra. If you need a date night and want a light comedy, then see “Isn’t It Romantic?”
REVIEW RATING: B