ISNT IT ROMANTIC (Todd Strauss-Schulson). 88 minutes. Opens Wednesday (February 13). See listing. Rating: NNA cheeky premise and Rebel Wilsons.
ISNT IT ROMANTIC (Todd Strauss-Schulson). 88 minutes. Opens Wednesday (February 13). See listing. Rating: NN
A cheeky premise and Rebel Wilsons charms are stretched thin in Isnt It Romantic. Fashioned as an anti-rom-com, its entire runtime is spent taking shots at all the aesthetics, narrative gaps and cliches that have kept Drew Barrymore and Katherine Heigl gainfully employed.
But the movie, which to no ones surprise really is a rom-com, uses the very cliches it mocks as a crutch, because its got nothing else to offer.
Wilson stars as Natalie, an architect who doesnt notice the affection coming from her colleague Josh (Wilsons fellow Pitch Perfect alum Adam Devine). Finding her assistant Whitney (Betty Gilpin) getting mushy over The Wedding Singer at work, Natalie lists off all the reasons rom-coms are bull.
Then she bumps her head and wakes up to find her life has turned into the worst iteration of the genre, complete with the stereotypical friendly gay neighbour, bitchy female competition and a love triangle telegraphed far in advance. The movie knows we know how it will all pan out, and yet does nothing to subvert those expectations.
Instead it just picks at all the low-hanging fruit, ripe for mockery: the spacious apartments, hospital rooms and offices florally decorated to look like a Town & Country Magazine spread ridiculous meet cutes where Liam Hemsworths hunky Blake utters beguiling till the word loses all meaning.
The best bit has Natalie struggling with the cutaways during sex scenes that skip the sex and find her sleeping in bed. She scrambles to sneak in a quick badoink and gets edited back into bed because a PG-13 rom-com wont allow her to savour the D.
But the laughs quickly grow stale and the movie doesnt have the guile to do anything more. Perhaps because its filmmakers really dont like rom-coms.
This isnt like what Preston Sturges did for rom-coms with The Palm Beach Story or Wes Craven with horror in Scream satirizing a genre they have love for while doubling down on what makes the tropes so fun.
Isnt It Romantic just thumbs its nose at the genre before relenting to it, like a self-inflicted defeat.