The irony of “Isn’t it Romantic’s” premise attempting to take down and lampoon the romantic comedy genre could have easily come off as off putting and hypocritical.
Although Rebel Wilson has demonstrated a capacity for comedic talent in the past, her unfortunate typecasting into the role of the fat, unattractive female lead has lead to lots of cringe worthy far beneath her talents. The very concept of criticizing a genre that you ultimately aim to function in reeks of a self-righteous indignation that is all too present within the mainstream today. Fortunately, the film manages to sidestep all those problems by playing itself as sincerely as possible.
After being confronted with a subconscious hatred she’s developed for the trope and clichés in rom-coms, Wilson takes a nasty blow to the head and wakes up at the hospital realizing that she’s now trapped in one, forcing herself to go through all of the typical rom-com antics.
The cleverness of “Isn’t it Romantic’s” comedy leans strongly on the fundamentals of set up and delivery, knowing which clichés to milk for comedic effect and for how long before moving to the next punchline. While no single joke had me in stitches, the film is loaded with consistently solid laughs from start to finish.
As strong as the comedic direction is — giving Wilson and co-stars Adam Devine and Liam Hemsworth some of their strongest performances in a film to date — the aforementioned sincerity is truly what carries the film over into greatness.
Beneath the quips and snide remarks about the fiction Hollywood attempts to repackage and sell us, “Isn’t it Romantic” has a heart that a lot of romantic comedies just seem to lack more often than not. It’s ultimate message about being able to love oneself is far from deep, but is delivered so earnestly and so well woven into the commentary of its own genre that it’s nearly impossible to leave the theater without a smile on your face.
4 out of 5
Graduating from Texas A&M University—Commerce with a bachelor's degree in News and Editorial Journalism, Jordan Wright has lived most of his adult life professionally critiquing films, from major blockbusters to indie dramas, and has no intentions of stopping.