Isn’t It Romantic was everything I love and hate about romantic comedies


I classify myself as a cynical hopeless romantic; I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with romantic comedies. The film Isn’t It Romantic was made for people like me who can’t help but be drawn to movies about love and still laugh about their absurdity. Despite the movie being engineered to satisfy both conflicting sides of my emotions, I still have many qualms with the poor choices and misleading messages in this movie.

Isn’t It Romantic follows Natalie (Rebel Wilson), a New York architect. Her dingy apartment and lack of a boyfriend certainly were not a part of her childhood dream. Moreover, she is invisible to everyone at work, except to her friends Josh (Adam DeVine) and Whitney (Betty Gilpin).

After a mugging, Natalie hits her head and wakes up in a romantic comedy. This part of the movie was laced with satire and spiced with irony. It made fun of everything I hate about romantic comedies, including the dramatic and illogical song and dance numbers as well as the cheesy voiceovers. It was well-versed in the annoyances caused by the too-perfect romances.

While the movie’s main purpose was to ridicule the typical romantic movie plot, it really bothered me just how much Isn’t It Romantic followed that horribly overused, tired plot. The girl wants the big shot, out-of-her-league guy. 

Usually, this wouldn’t be too big of a sticking point for me. Who doesn’t love the romance tropes? In this special case, me. After everything Natalie realizes about herself and about life in the fake world, this is a monumental letdown. I was so empowered by Isn’t It Romantic for about six minutes before the cliches descended on me like a hive of bees, angry for being disturbed.

Misleading emotions towards romantic comedies make for a misleading movie.”

Moreover, the message of the movie kept changing, so much so that I don’t even know what the message is. I don’t understand whether it was trying to promote female independence and confidence or whether it was just another basic film painting a fake image of what love should be. Regarding the former, it was very supportive and acknowledging of internal confidence and body image issues. Yet, regarding the latter, the scenes taking place in “reality” were still very fabricated and unrealistic.

Nevertheless, I do have to give Isn’t It Romantic creativity points for their use of the fake world. It was like a movie inside of a movie. For the most part, it was executed very well, and I was never confused.

I also really liked the casting choices. Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine work so well together on screen; their friendship seems genuine. This isn’t the first time they have worked together and played a pair of friends with more-than-friends chemistry. I definitely felt some nostalgia for another comedy they acted in, Pitch Perfect, especially during a scene in a karaoke bar that involves Wilson and DeVine singing together.

Their co-star Liam Hemsworth pleasantly surprised me. This was Hemsworth’s debut in the comedy genre, and I was not disappointed. Certainly, this role was a challenge. He played the disinterested, snarky billionaire as well the false version of that same character, the charming and crushing billionaire.

Despite the cast being full of comedians and stars, Isn’t It Romantic was amusing at best. I never lost myself in the movie. I never fell into the zone of complete concentration when the rest of the theater fades away, and it is just you. Unfortunately, the entire time I was acutely aware of the laughter and whispers of people surrounding.

Furthermore, I didn’t find this romantic comedy that romantic or comedic. The romance was downplayed by the satire, and the satire was downplayed by the forced humor. There were funny one-liners and maybe a scene or two that was funny, but nothing about them was out of the ordinary.

Isn’t It Romantic was a decent movie for an all-night binge with your best friend. But, if you are looking for an anti-romantic comedy movie to satisfy your cynical side, this is not the choice for you.

Misleading emotions towards romantic comedies make for a misleading movie.