Isn’t It Romantic
review by Bobby Blakey
I love Rebel Wilson in just about everything she does mostly because she just always seem to be having a great time and comfortable with who she is. That goes a long way and shines through in most of her comedic performances. Her latest film Isn’t It Romantic puts a unique spin on the rom-com genre and features a great cast including Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra, Betty Gilpin, and Brandon Scott James with The Final Girls director Todd-Strauss-Schulson at the helm. Could this comedy turn this genre on its head like it promises or will it fail to hit the right note?
Isn’t It Romantic follows Natalie, a New York architect who works hard to get noticed at her job, but is more likely to deliver coffee and bagels than design the city's next skyscraper. Things go from bad to weird when she gets knocked unconscious during a subway mugging and magically wakes up to find herself in an alternate universe. Always cynical about love, Natalie's worst nightmare soon comes true when she suddenly discovers that she's playing the leading lady in a real-life romantic comedy. I love the idea of this movie but admit that the trailers never really connected with me so I was just hoping there was more here to work with and as a whole it did, but still was a bit hit and miss of me.
First of all Rebel Wilson is great here. Once again she is all in and looks to be having a great time and that really helps the film work better than it might had otherwise. It also helps that she seems to have great chemistry with everyone in the film and even more so with her Pitch Perfect co-star Adam Devine. All of their interactions showcase a believable friendship that you can easily buy into. Liam Hemsworth was great too playing up his leading man persona to perfection bringing every cliché you can think of to the role. This is needed to fit along with the story itself and worked. The “gay” best friend played by Brandon Scott James was the role I felt annoyed with in the trailers, but thankfully they handled it in a
way in the film that not only made it work made him so much more than that clichéd character.
The story is simple and clever despite being pretty predictable from beginning to end, but I think that is part of the point. They poke fun at every element of the genre and bring up all the questions that we ask while watching them despite usually accepting the unrealistic nature of it all. Where this film didn’t always work for me was the jokes themselves. There are some great funny moments, but the predictability of the genre and using that as the template for the joke also made some of the fall flat since you know they are coming. This is the problem and purpose of the story and using it in this story in a clever way makes it work, but not near as funny as I was hoping for.
To be clear it is a fun little movie that will no doubt be hilarious to some and features some nonsensical dance numbers that work. It is a lot better than I expected and I think it will be one that works for more people than it doesn’t so give it a shot and have a good time.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including deleted scenes and a “I Wanna Dance!” featurette. Step into the world of the romantic comedy when Isn’t It Romantic available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.