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Movie Review: “Isn’t It Romantic”

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Theatrical Release: 2/13/2019

Theatrical Release: 2/13/2019

Synopsis

When she was a child, Natalie (Rebel Wilson) had a small obsession with romantic comedies, but her mother told her that stories like those were not for ugly girls like the two of them. Her mother shattered this fantasy for her and now Natalie lives in a dump of a New York City apartment. She is an architect, but no one respects her at work and she frequently finds herself being taken advantage of in the workplace. Her assistant (Betty Gilpin) loves romantic comedies, but Natalie is very open about her opinions of those movies and she has no problem stating everything that she hates about them.

Natalie suffers a severe head injury after someone tries to rob her. When she wakes up, she finds herself in the middle of her worst nightmare, a PG-13 romantic comedy. She cannot swear, she cannot experience “love“ scenes, and she is surrounded by every stereotype from the film genre that she despises. With seemingly no escape, Natalie decides that the only way out is to go along with it until the “story” is complete. Thus, despite hating this situation to her very core, Natalie sets out to find true love.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.

The ProsThe Cons

The Premise (+4pts)

The Execition (-8pts)

Rebel Wilson (+5pts)

Predictable (-6pts)

Adam Devine (+3pts)

The Realization (-3pts)

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Pro: The Premise (+4pts)

This movie had an interesting premise. It was a romantic comedy in which the main character was aware that she was in a romantic comedy and she hated every second of it. It was an interesting idea, and it had the potential of being very entertaining. The romantic comedy genre has become very predictable and stale, so I was excited to see a movie that aimed to challenge what it meant to be a romantic comedy. This premise got me interested in the movie, and along with the Rebel Wilson, provided plenty of comedy.

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Con: The Execution (-8pts)

I enjoyed the premise, but I thought the execution of that premise was done poorly. The movie ended up being everything it was making fun of, when it could have been so much more. It had the opportunity to go in a very different direction than most movies in its genre and it had the opportunity to break free from the mold. Most importantly, it had the opportunity of doing both of these things in a really clever and comedically entertaining way.

The filmmakers made fun of the stereotypes that have plagued the genre, but they ended up delivering the very same stereotypes. There was the main character's love interest, the wedge that was driven into their relationship, the love-interest that was in front of the main character the whole time, and the issues that were wedged into that relationship. With each of these things, the filmmakers delivered a severely typical movie. I will get into the predictability of it later in this review, but it was worth noting here, because the movie never rose above the tropes they were making fun of. The unfortunate reality was that the filmmakers delivered a movie that was everything that their own main character said was stupid.

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Pro: Rebel Wilson (+5pts)

I thought Rebel Wilson was a decent choice for this movie. Some of her jokes certainly landed better than others, but I cannot think of an actress who would have been better suited for this role. Was she as funny in this movie as she was in other comedies? No, but I think that was due to her being the main character, which meant she could not be all comedy all the time. There were not any hard, laugh out loud, comedic moments, but Rebel Wilson kept me chuckling throughout the movie.

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Con: Predictable (-6pts)

This was kind of a side effect of the movie fitting into every romantic comedy stereotype, but the movie was severely predictable. From the moment Natalie got knocked out, I knew exactly how the entire movie would play out. I do not want to break it down just in case someone is reading this who has never seen a romantic comedy before, but it was really easy to see where this story was going. I knew exactly who she would fall in love with, I knew how the major plot points would go in the dream storyline and I knew how the major plot points would go in the real storyline. The filmmakers attempted to throw in a twist at the end. which I will get into later, but it was not enough of a twist to make the movie feel unpredictable or even different. Again, this was kind of a side effect of the movie fitting into all the stereotypes of romantic comedies, but the predictable nature of this story made it pretty boring in more than a few areas.

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Pro: Adam Devine (+3pts)

I know some people who do not like Adam Devine’s style of comedy, but I think he is pretty funny. However, I did not think he was as funny as I know he can be. I thought he handled his dramatic scenes well, but the comedy involving this character felt somewhat lacking, and I think this was a result of the predictable, cookie-cutter plot he was thrown into. Make no mistake, the guy was still funny, I just know he can be so much funnier than he was. At the end of the day, Adam Devine still did a good job, as he was able to make this character both entertaining and likable in a movie that was at times neither.

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Con: The Realization (-3pts)

Toward the end of the story, the writers had Natalie make a realization about who she needed to love. This realization was clearly intended as a way for the movie to go in a different direction than your typical romantic comedy. It was supposed to be this big moment, but I thought it severely missed its mark. I wanted this movie to do something different, but this realization was not set up at all. It sort of came out of nowhere, and it felt like the filmmakers thought of it at the last minute. The whole movie built toward one thing, then Natalie made a realization that took her somewhere completely different. The realization was a good idea, and it could have worked well if the filmmakers had built toward it, but they did not.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

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Grade: C- (70pts)

Isn’t It Romantic had a premise that interested me. It was a romantic comedy with the potential of being very unique, through poking fun at the genre’s stereotypes while setting itself apart from them. Unfortunately, that was not what the filmmakers did. Yes, they poked fun at all the genre’s stereotypes, but they did so while being exactly what they were making fun of.

Both Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine were funny, but I felt like their comedic talents were held back by playing characters who needed to focus on the plot and the drama, as well as being in the middle of a cookie-cutter plot. The main character also made a realization at the end of the movie that was clearly the filmmakers’ attempt at being different, but it felt completely unjustified by the rest of the movie. If you really like romantic comedies, you will probably get some laughs out of this one, but it was really nothing special. Again, the premise was a good idea, but the filmmakers executed it in a way that made it feel like a big missed opportunity.

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