Plot: While some people find an escape in the ideal worlds shown in romantic comedies, Natalie (Rebel Wilson) is just frustrated by the images shown in those movies, especially when compared to her own life experiences. She struggles in the ways of romance, lives in a cramped apartment, and feels underappreciated at work, a far cry from the women she sees in the realm of romantic comedies. But her life takes an unexpected turn when she is mugged one night, as she wakes up from a knock on the head and discovers the world has undergone some serious changes. She wasn’t in a long coma, but she doesn’t even recognize her life, from the spacious apartment to the flirtatious men around her to the theme music. As a little time passes, she begins to suspect she has either lost her mind or is now trapped in a romantic comedy of her own. Although this new life has a lot of perks, she is also frustrated by the romantic comedy limitations, especially since her life now seems to be rated PG-13. Can she figure out how to get her old life back before she’s stuck in romcom world forever?
Entertainment Value: I’ve seen several movies that poke fun at romantic comedies, but the premise of Isn’t It Romantic seems like a fun one, with Rebel Wilson as a woman who hates romantic comedies, but she’s trapped in one. The movie does have some fun with the genre’s tropes and conventions, but doesn’t do so with much edge, this is more of a friendly poke in the ribs. Isn’t It Romantic doesn’t want to skewer the romantic comedy cliches in other words, just laugh at some of them and in the end, use those same tropes as part of its own narrative. So that is perhaps the strangest part of the movie, as it tells us about all the pitfalls of the genre, then embraces the cliches and more or less feels like your typical romantic comedy in the end. Which works out well enough, as the film is clearly marketed to fans of the genre, so to go with a sharp edge wouldn’t resonate with that crowd, more than likely. But for those hoping for a proper send up of cheesy romantic comedies, this is not going to fill that order. If you’re a fan of light, breezy comedies of this kind however, you will likely find enough to like about Isn’t It Romantic to make it worth a look.
I’ve said this in other reviews, but romantic comedies aren’t in my prime wheelhouse, but I was drawn to this one because of Rebel Wilson and I imagine that will be the case for others as well. Her presence holds some promise that Isn’t It Romantic will be a fun watch, regardless of your disposition toward the genre as a whole. As it turns out, she does bring her brand of comic charm to the movie and that helps the film stand out a little, even as it falls into all the tropes it pokes fun at. I appreciated seeing her more abrasive style performance within the romantic comedy formula, as it ensures the humor has a different feel and even when she leans a little saccharine, it still has a much different texture. I wouldn’t rank this with her best work, as the material still doesn’t always suit her comedic style, but I think Wilson is fun here and adds a lot to the movie’s appeal. I was also pleased to see Jennifer Saunders here as Wilson’s mother, I just wish she was given more to work with. The cast also includes Adam Devine, Liam Hemsworth, and Priyanka Chopra.
Disc: Isn’t It Romantic reaches Blu-ray thanks to Warner Brothers and as expected from such a new release, the movie looks excellent. The bright, vibrant color scheme really shines in this treatment, with the kind of rich hues and depth that DVD simply can’t match. I found detail to be strong overall, much as you’d expect from a newer movie and all of the little visual touches are always visible here, no softness. In short, fans will be more than pleased with this presentation. The extras include a promotional piece about the stars doing karaoke, as well as some deleted scenes.