Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Movie Review: "Isn't It Romantic" (2019)

Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Year: 2019
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

A woman who hates romantic comedies is knocked unconscious during a mugging and wakes up in her worst nightmare: the unrealistic, perfect world of a PG-13 romantic comedy.

Isn't It Romantic 2019 movie Priyanka Chopra Rebel Wilson Adam DeVine
"You're blind to love. You don't even see it." (Image Source)
Ahh, love. Amor. Lyublyu. Amour. Miłość. Sevgi. Liefde. 愛. .אהבה. The thing that makes the world go 'round. What would we do without romance films?! "Isn't it Romantic" is directed by Todd Strauss-Schulman, who has directed films like "The Final Girls" and "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas." The screenplay is written by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox, and Katie Silberman, who all have written their fair share of romantic comedies like "The Wedding Date" (Fox) and "Set It Up" (Silberman). This film tells the story of an architect named Natalie (Rebel Wilson), who hates the unrealistic nature of the romantic comedy genre of movies. She believes they aren't true to life, and she has never had any experience that comes even remotely close to what is depicted in films. One day, Natalie is mugged in the subway and gets knocked unconscious when running from her attacker. When she wakes up, she finds herself in an alternate reality where New York City is beautiful and smells good and is filled with bake shops and wedding boutiques and flowers as far as the eye can see. Oh, and she's also the protagonist of her own romantic comedy. For her, this is a nightmare, and just like what happens on the big screen, the only way for her to escape this hellish ordeal is to fall in love with the right person. Is "the right one" going to be Blake (Liam Hemsworth), who thinks Natalie is the "coffee bitch" at her office in the real world, or Josh (Adam DeVine), who is one of her best friends.
Isn't It Romantic 2019 movie Liam Hemsworth
"Everyone thinks I'm the coffee bitch, which is unfair because sometimes I bring donuts, too." (Image Source)
"Isn't It Romantic" is a self-aware spoof that pokes fun at cliche romantic comedies while simultaneously being a cliche romantic comedic. That's the point of it, so in a sense, it gets to have its cake and eat it too. We didn't have high hopes for this movie going into it as we feared it would be absolutely dumb, and it can be, but it is also super funny and managed to provide us with a pleasant viewing experience. Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine, who previously worked together on the "Pitch Perfect" movies, team up once again on this project, and just as they did before, they maintain their wonderful chemistry and play quite well off of one another. Wilson and fellow Aussie Liam Hemsworth also have some great interactions together as the skeptical Natalie clashes with the overly enthusiastic Blake on more than one occasion. We also really like Betty Gilpin as Natalie's assistant Whitney, who is a sweet, timid lady with polar opposite views when it comes to romantic movies. Whitney thinks everything about rom-coms is amazing and her favorite movie of all time is "Sweet Home Alabama." Yiiiiiiiiiiiikes. She eventually becomes Natalie's "rival" in her alternate world, but this dynamic doesn't go much of anywhere.

We admit, not everything about "Isn't It Romantic" works out. There are plenty of jokes that fall flat, but we laughed way, way more than we expected to, even if they were merely small chuckles and smirks. It exploits such tropes as random choreographed song and dance numbers as seen in "13 Going on 30," "She's All That," and more recently "Love, Simon," and the inevitable fashion montage as seen in movies like "Pretty Woman," "Clueless," "The Wedding Singer," and "Crazy Rich Asians." As for the story, it's a little tired and predictable (again, that may be the point, but this just an excuse?), but it does have a good message underneath it all, even if it's a message that we've heard many times before with an ending we could see coming a mile away.
Isn't It Romantic 2019 movie
"I'm so sexy. I just want a man to buy me a salad." (Image Source)
"Isn't It Romantic" does just enough to be considered "good." It's fun enough, funny enough, and sharp enough to satisfy the requirements to be considered a spoof and a rom-com at the same time. Take a chance on this one.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.4/10
RT Rating: ~68%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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