Natalie is 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.
Plot: A young woman (Rebel Wilson) disenchanted with love mysteriously finds herself trapped inside a romantic comedy. What will she do?
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Runtime: 89 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: It follows as many genre conventions as it mocks, but Isn’t It Romantic is a feel-good rom-com with some satirical bite — and a star well-suited for both.
“A rom-com, that makes fun of rom-coms, that is a rom-com.”
The movie starts with Wilson’s character living a boring-normal life. What does that mean? Being a single individual living in an average apartment in a dirty city, (with a drug-dealer neighbor) being ignored by co-workers, underutilized, timid and scared to make the big move in any aspect of life. Mix in some conversations about how cliché romantic comedies or “chick flicks” are like; true-love’s kiss, waking up in full hair and makeup, tripping over everything, the gay best friend, every man she stumbles upon is charming, good looking, ready to love — and then BAM! she’s gets a head injury and everything changes — now she’s living inside that world.
Everything she’s grown to hate is now happening all around her. The dirty city is amazingly clean and filled with color, flowers and cupcake shops, her drug-dealing neighbor is now her “gossiping gay best friend,” she’s constantly tripping and every man she meets is dreamy and trying to fall in-love with her. Every step she takes leads into another cliché, literally. From that point on, the rest of the movie is full of homages to other famous rom-coms as it slowly unwinds (with all the tropes you can imagine) until she discovers that everything wrong with what she had hatred for in life, starts with herself. She doesn’t need a man to complete her, she’s perfect all on her own. She can be bold and take control of every aspect of her life. Once she learns that aspect (even though it’s predictably set to happen throughout the movie) she’s now ready to take on the world confidently.
Before I watched this movie, I though the whole idea was to make fun of romantic comedies — but Isn’t It Romantic actually makes a point to celebrate them too. You not only learn this through the duration of the movie, but you further grasp the idea through the special features where the director lays out his intentions to pay homage to the greatest rom-coms ever made.
With a very short 89-minute runtime, the least you can do is rent this if doesn’t seem like the kind of movie you’d watch. For me personally, it’s a one time watch, but if you love yourself a rom-com, it’s a safe bet that you’ll enjoy this. Let me know if you agree.
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