Isn’t It Romantic is a new satirical romantic comedy starring Rebel Wilson (the Pitch Perfect series). A riff on the tropes of the genre, the film is about a young woman who is cynical towards love and romance that finds herself trapped in a real-life romantic comedy when she hits her head.
Much like other meta and self-aware movies, the premise has the potential for quite a bit of interesting parody and commentary of the genre which the filmmakers so obviously admire. However, unlike other, more successful meta movies such as The Cabin in the Woods, Isn’t It Romantic is unable to stick the landing because of its uneven execution.
The best self-aware movies are able to follow the tropes of the genre while poking fun at them at the same time. Unfortunately, this film cannot seem to find that balance. Most of the satirical treatment of the tropes comes in the first act of the movie during the setup through a bunch of dialogue dumps. It isn’t as consistent as it should be, and as a result, isn’t as interesting either.
One of the bigger successes of the film is its character development. The two lead characters, played by Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine, are both well-written and compelling. The interactions between the two are the best parts of the movie and have the most emotional resonance. All of the supporting characters are pretty archetypal, but this goes along with the film’s satire.
There are quite a few funny moments in the movie, but unfortunately, many of the best were shown in the trailers. This is likely a result of the fact that most of the humor arises from the situations in which the protagonist finds herself rather than the dialogue, which lacks the wit to make it stand out. Additionally, some of the gags last too long. Even the funniest scene in the film has a thirty second stretch that feels like it should have been cut out.
That being said, the actors all do a good enough job in their roles. All of the actors are able to handle the comedic moments in the movie, and there weren’t many moments that required very much range. Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine are both doing their usual schtick, but it’s generally funny, so their fans will likely be pleased. The real standout in the cast, though, is Liam Hemsworth, who does a great job as the archetypal male love interest.
On a technical level, the film is a bit of a mixed bag. The intro and outro, set in the “real world” are very sloppily assembled and poorly-shot. Perhaps this was the point, but it is frustrating to look at nonetheless. The “romantic comedy world” isn’t spectacularly-done, but there are a few interesting things in the production design and cinematography. That being said, the movie’s use of music is great, the soundtrack and musical numbers being some of the most enjoyable parts of the film.
Overall, Isn’t It Romantic was somewhat enjoyable, but it was also a tad disappointing. It starts off strongly but gets off course pretty quickly.
Isn’t It Romantic is now playing in theaters.