Expecting a predictable watch with that glamorous life, impossible meet-cutes and stumbling lead? Here are five ways Isn’t It Romantic turns the quintessential romcom tropes on their head.
Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Priyanka Chopra, Adam Devine
February 13, 2019
Rebel Wilson has been capturing our hearts with her unique spin on supporting characters ever since she appeared alongside Elizabeth Banks in 2012’s What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and then again that year as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. The Sydney native’s killer confidence, aptitude for physical comedy and ability to play any awkward scene for maximum laughs has made her an audience favourite, and it was only a matter of time before she stepped forward into leading lady status.
Enter Isn’t It Romantic, a film made for romcom lovers and haters alike. Wilson stars as Natalie, a New York architect who strives to get noticed at work and is cynical towards all things romance until a mugging leads to a head injury that lands her in the hospital – and smack in the middle of a fantastical PG-13 romcom.
But this isn’t your average sappy flick. Here’s how Isn’t It Romantic keeps things fresh with an updated take on the genre, comically challenging every ridiculous trope along the way.
The meddling besties
What would a romcom be without supporting characters who seem to have no life of their own, but who are utterly fascinated with helping the lead navigate hers? Isn’t It Romantic tackles the bestie character on several fronts, through her co-worker Whitney (Betty Gilpin), who urges Natalie to open herself up to love, and her classic (hilarious) gay sidekick named Donny (Brandon Scott Jones).
The “friend-zoned” buddy
We’re betting that Natalie’s friend and co-worker, Josh (Adam Devine), will end up being the “Guy Who Has Been There All Along” once Natalie learns to open herself up to love, but we anticipate self-love will play a more pivotal role in a film that smashes all romcom stereotypes.
The perfect guy (and the bumbling girl)
Before living in a realized romcom, Natalie fashioned herself as a capable young professional. In romcom world, though, she becomes a super clumsy walking disaster whenever a potential crush is near. Enter Liam Hemsworth as perfect-guy, Blake. From Natalie’s vantage point there’s no reason a chiseled-bodied, rich guy would ever be interested in her, and so she sarcastically dismisses his repeated advances… until she doesn’t. She uses this opportunity to reiterate that the “perfect guy” really doesn’t exist.
That unattainable, glamorous life
Post-head injury, everything in Natalie’s existence seems shiner, from her hair and wardrobe to her supersized apartment and killer office life. Thankfully, the movie pokes fun at the unrealistic lifestyles we always see in this genre, and she’s totally aware of how wrong it all is compared to the stark reality of a 20-something working an entry-level job in expensive New York City.
The musical montages
What would a romcom be without the girls? We’re talking Whitney and Celine and all of the other soundtrack staples out there, of course. The upbeat and sometimes-soulful song selection is key to any great romcom, and Isn’t It Romantic is no exception. Except in this film, Natalie can actually hear the soundtrack as it cues, which often leaves her appalled and confused. And then there are those classic over-the-top dance numbers that unfold around Natalie, because who wouldn’t want to get stuck in the middle of a dance flashmob IRL?
If you love to hate romcoms (or even just straight-up love them) Isn’t It Romantic is for you.
This film mocks every last romcom signature, while giving us a lead in Rebel Wilson that we’re totally rooting for. Share this movie on the big screen for a laugh-filled date or girls night out.