Review: Isn’t It Romantic Is a Hilarious, Refreshing Look at Romantic Comedies
4/5 stars for the best Hemsworth
**This post contains spoilers for the film Isn’t It Romantic**
I’m not going to lie, I thought I was going to go into Isn’t It Romantic and hate it. Instead, I was delighted and felt like this was the kind of romantic comedy that fits perfectly with 2019. With a lead character that hates the idea of a romantic comedy because of a mentality her mother left her with, Natalie (Rebel Wilson) lives her life as if she isn’t worthy of love or success.
As an architect who focuses her time and energy on designing parking garages, Natalie finds herself continuing to let other use her and doesn’t stand up for herself, even when her friends Josh (Adam Devine) and Whitney (Betty Gilpin) tell her that she has to start to let her ideas be known.
The movie’s gimmick is that she gets mugged in the subway station and when she runs away, she ends up running straight into a pillar and knocking herself out cold. When she wakes up, it is with a full face of makeup, and she realizes that she has to live out a full-on romantic comedy and figure out who she’s in love with in order to return to her normal life. This new trope-y environment comes with a stereotypical gay best friend, Donny (Brandon Scott Jones), too.
The thing is, I figured Isn’t It Romantic would be cheesy, that it would just pile on the tropes and harp on and mock what makes romantic comedies what they are. Instead, I was granted a beautiful look at why we still love these kinds of movies, even when we recognize that they are often somewhat silly and predictable. Ultimately, the story focuses its energy on Natalie realizing that she was who she had to love all along. Again, cheesy, but in a beautiful way.
While Natalie falls in love with her best friend Josh, and Donny seemingly pops out of nowhere, she learns through a karaoke battle with Isabella (Priyanka Chopra) and her struggles with Blake (Liam Hemsworth) that her mission isn’t the love story she thinks “the movie” is selling her, but rather the love she has to find for herself. Her mother told her that she’d never have a romance like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman because that’s not the kind of girl Natalie is. But that isn’t true—romantic stories aren’t just about how someone looks, or living for the sake of winning another person’s affection, and this is what Isn’t It Romantic drives home.
Eventually, Natalie will come to see all the people from her romantic comedy as they truly are. It’s a real Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz moment if you will. But while she may or may not end with the guy, the important part is that Natalie learns how to stand up for herself. A movie that jabs at romantic comedies also teaches us that romantic comedies can be much more than just the love story, and that individual people matter, too.
(image: Warner Bros./Screengrab from YouTube)
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