Review: Isn’t It Romantic

Parody films have been a part of Hollywood for decades. From Hot Shots to Scary Movie, poking fun at a genre  can be as entertaining as the films themselves. Romantic comedies are the easiest to make fun of. Love or loathe them, we’ve all seen a romantic comedy and understand all the ridiculous tropes that make them easy to poke fun at.

Isn’t It Romantic dives head first into just how ludicrous and nonsensical these films can be. Natalie (Rebel Wilson) works for an architect firm in New York City and she hates rom-coms. After stopping a thief in the subway, she hits her had wakes up inside a PG-13 romantic comedy. This new life is a little different than the one she remembers, she finds her self trapped in a generic rom-com. In order to escape this world of romance and clichés, she must fall in love.

Natalie’s World of Romance is filled with things that are commonplace in most rom-coms. Blake (Liam Hemsworth) is the super hot guy and the love interest. Josh (Adam DeVine) is the adorable best friend she really gets along with. Isabella (Priyanka Chopra) is supermodel/yoga ambassador that’s too hot for her friend. Natalie (Betty Gilpin) is her nemesis at work. And Donny (Brandon Scott) is her gay best friend.

The script, written by Erin Cardillo and Dana Fox, is filled with jokes that take jabs at every rom-com trope we’ve seen. It’s fascinating how funny the script is at poking fun at itself while also being engaging rom-com that keeps you invested in Natalie’s journey. It’s a rom-com within a rom-com that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a self aware movie that’s in on every joke.

Rebel Wilson and the supporting cast to a wonderful job playing up the comedy and also the tropes with 100% seriousness. The story is a reminder that romantic comedies can work, they just need the right story.  This film also serves as a reminder that Priyanka Chopra needs to be in more things. She’s perfect in this role and has good comedic timing.

From beginning to end, the film has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and enough chemistry to make the relationships feel believable. Natalie is on the receiving end of most of the jokes – that’s right in Rebel Wilson’s comedic wheelhouse. When she’s not, she’s delivering a snarky response that’s guaranteed to get a laugh. With Rebel’s ability to improv, It’s unclear how much of her dialogue was on-the-script, but her jokes got a lot of laughs

Even with most of the film being a wink and a nod at genre people love or love to hate, the story is original enough to keep eyes glued to the screen. The story is funny when it needs to be delightfully heartfelt during the right moments. Isn’t It Romantic isn’t groundbreaking; it is an enjoyable time at the movies and a refreshing take on an age old story.

Grade: B

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