We’re all used to romantic comedies or romcoms where a charming but clumsy lead girl gets a makeover and suddenly catches the eye of the heartthrob every girl has her cap for. But what if an average girl suddenly gets cast in the role of the lead actress? Will she really have what it takes to deliver the film to box office success? “Isn’t it Romantic” toys with this premise and casts Rebel Wilson in the role of Natalie, a successful architect who shuns romantic comedies for pushing unrealistic ideals, but suddenly wakes up to find herself in the middle of an alternate reality where hot men fall at her feet and she has access to everything she couldn’t believe she ever could have.
I like the premise of deconstructing romcoms and highlighting the utter ridiculousness of the genre that was the main concept of the movie. It makes viewers take a long hard look at themselves and reflect on why people love romcoms anyway. It was really funny because even though its completely stupid and formulaic, I, for one, love romantic comedies the most because it just strikes something in one’s heart that triggers good vibes.
At the back of our minds, logic will tell us not to buy into the fantasy just as Natalie’s mom tells her early into the film, but admit it. A lot of us are like Whitney (Betty Gilpin) who just enjoy romcoms because they make us feel good. Period.
I wasn’t a big fan of Rebel Wilson’s character Natalie, honestly speaking. While I knew that the film wanted to establish empathy with her character, what with her overweight and disheveled appearance, I felt no such thing because she was just so negative. She was unhappy and wanted everyone else to be unhappy. She was so hostile because of her insecurities. It overpowers every other aspect of her personality that we don’t get to see a lot of positives that we can root for. She does redeem herself in the end when she makes her big realization but still…
In contrast, I loved Josh’s (Adam DeVine) character, which was, throughout the film, the most consistent. True that he was filling a stereotype guy next door harboring a crush on the heroine but he was solid, dependable and he was genuine. He might not be the hottest fish in the pond but he’s a great catch, as anyone who has ever watched a romcom can tell within five minutes. Scratch that, I knew where this film was headed from the moment I watched the trailer.
For sure, fans of Pitch Perfect will get a kick out of seeing Bumper and Fat Amy together again. This is the movie for fans of these two who want to see them together again with more screen time since PP was an ensemble musical. They have great chemistry and this light romcom is just the right material to highlight their strengths.
Let me just say though that I thought that Liam Hemsworth was hands down the MVP of this particular movie, if only for his commitment to deliver the funnies. One of my favorite scenes was his giving his number to Natalie with random rose petals. This is not his typical role — far from it really, but Liam really went above and beyond to showcase his goofball side. Viewers can tell that even though he was an awful dancer, he was really professional and obviously tried to deliver as well as the rest of his more experienced castmates. Priyanka Chopra was a star, plain and simple. Is there anything this woman could not do?
The cheesiness level of this movie was way over the top and at times, it got pretty cringey, but props to all the montages that they successfully pulled off. They must have had a checklist because they must have ticked off every ridiculous montage that made 80s and 90s romcoms so successful — not to mention that most of the soundtrack were iconic hits during these eras.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Isn’t it Romantic is the best rom-com that was ever produced. It did make me laugh out loud at times and it did accomplish to have an inspiring message about girls going about finding love all wrong. All in all, romantic comedy is not rocket science but this movie was a pretty solid addition to the genre. It wasn’t outstanding but it was pretty good. Plus, I got my wish in the end and got to see Adam DeVine in full form in a major production to close the movie.