Something for Everyone in Delicious ‘Isn’t It Romantic’

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Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “Isn’t It Romantic” knows exactly what it is, and what it wants to be. It is simultaneously for people who love Romantic Comedy, and those who profess to hate them … but may secretly love them. It’s an amusing trifle that’s about as surprising as a heart shaped box of chocolates, but sometimes that’s what you want.

Rebel Wilson stars as a cynical New York architect – one of the go to Rom-Com professions, second only to publishing in the annals of cinematic clichés – who hates Romantic Comedies for their unrealistic depictions of love. After a knock upon the noggin during a mugging, she wakes up to find herself trapped in a Romantic Comedy world where she’s the star.

Rom-Com-Ing: Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth in ‘Isn’t It Romantic’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

It mercilessly calls out the well-worn clichés of the romantic comedy while slavishly adhering to them anyway. She’s now the star architect involved in a meet cute with a hunky billionaire (Liam Hemsworth, playing the manic pixie dream guy version of a Hollywood Hunk), while her best friend/co-worker (Adam Devine) nurses a crush on her, and then gets his own meet cute with a billboard supermodel (Priyanka Chopra).

She at first fights to get herself out of this Williams-and-Sonoma catalog come to life, but grows to appreciate it. This movie checks all the boxes. Impossibly large New York apartments with closets the size of warehouse? Check. Makeover montage set to familiar pop song? Check. First date involving breaking and entering that’s viewed as charming rather than borderline criminal? Check. And of course, the gay sidekick (Brandon Scott Jones) whose only purpose in life is to be the sounding board and personal assistant to the star.

Rebel Wilson is a winning presence onscreen who knows how to use her comic gifts, and manages to approach the Rom-Com world with an arched eyebrow. Hemsworth starts out as impossible hunk whose quirky idiosyncrasies are first called out, and then embraced, and then called out again. That said the takedowns have a gentle affection to them. This movie may love calling them out, but it secretly loves them anyway, right down to her ridiculous slow motion race at the end to stop a wedding.

Adam Devine and Priyanka Chopra Meet Cute in ‘Isn’t It Romantic’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

There are some tacked on messages about loving yourself first before trying to find love, but the film takes that about as seriously as everything else, which is not very. “Isn’t It Romantic” is an enjoyable excuse to hold hands with your sweetheart on a night out, even if you and your sweetie may have trouble recalling much of it once the lights come up in the theatre.

“Isn’t It Romantic” opens everywhere on February 13th. Featuring Rebel Wilson, Adam Devine, Liam Hemsworth, Betty Gilpin, Priyanka Chopra and Jennifer Saunders. Screenplay by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox and Katie Silberman. Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson. Rated “PG-13” contributor Spike Walters


© 2019 Spike Walters,

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