“Isn’t It Romantic”: A Delightful Yet Disappointing Twist on Rom-Coms

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Rebel Wilson stars in a new romantic comedy that is entertaining but not quite as original as it seems. (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2452244/mediaviewer/rm4253116672)

Mariah Pringle, Columnist

Despite shamelessly using the same cliches of the very genre it is poking fun at, “Isn’t It Romantic” is a fun and enjoyable film with many laugh-out-loud moments, even if it is not quite as clever as it thinks it is.

After Natalie (Rebel Wilson) takes a hard knock on the head while running from a mugger, she becomes trapped in a world resembling a romantic comedy. Her life is now glamorized –  she finds herself with a suite-style apartment, hundreds of new pairs of shoes, and a rich, handsome man named Blake (Liam Hemsworth) pining for her affections.

However, unlike many stereotypical women in movies who really are only looking for a man and some pretty clothes, this new life isn’t everything she is hoping for – she is still building her career as an architect. To escape this rom-com world, Natalie believes she must build a relationship with Blake and learn a lesson or two about love. However, in the end, in a hastily included message, she learns that she should focus on learning to love herself.

Rebel Wilson offers charm to Natalie’s cynical take on the world, and Adam Devine is hilarious as Josh, Natalie’s best friend. On the other hand, Liam Hemsworth’s role as Blake, Natalie’s potential love interest, feels basic and bland. This is not necessarily because of the actor, but possibly because of his familiar and overused role as the jerk disguised as a perfect guy. Even with Hemsworth’s natural charisma, it feels a bit like squandered potential. Priyanka Chopra’s performance as Josh’s love interest is fair, but, similarly to Hemsworth’s, her role is stereotypical and doesn’t offer much room for her growth as an actress. Overall, the performances are acceptable – nothing stands out at either extreme.

The movie is often extremely funny, and its premise is intriguing enough to attract an audience. But even with the funny gags and B-list stars, the movie falls flat, much like Natalie. It’s clear that there isn’t yet a way to create a rom-com without including those trite yet loveable cliches that everyone knows, even if its purpose is to satirize them. “Isn’t It Romantic” isn’t going to be a revolutionary film for the ages, but it’s perfect for what it is – a typical yet beguiling rom-com.