“Isn’t It” just another cliche rom-com?


Rachel Liu

Rebel Wilson plays the insecure Natalie in “Isn’t It Romantic?”

Teju Anand and Claire Zhang

Ever seen a rom-com inside a rom-com? Todd Strauss-Schulson’s movie “Isn’t It Romantic,” released on Feb. 13, satirizes the classical romantic comedy in a funny but forgettable plot.

“Isn’t It Romantic” is a lighthearted comedy that pokes fun at clichés found in every romantic comedy. Its runtime is approximately 89 minutes, far shorter than any of its competitors.

The movie revolves around Natalie (Rebel Wilson), an unhappy architect who is afraid to get out of her bubble. Natalie refuses to believe that there is a Mr. Perfect for her and states that true love only happens in movies based on  how she is treated in life. While being mugged by a man in the subway station, Natalie hits her head and finds herself in a magical, improved version of New York, where she suddenly has the life she never thought she would.

Natalie finds herself being treated like a princess, unlike the previous rude behavior she faced in her daily life. Her apartment has been renovated and New York has been doused in pastel colors. She soon discovers that she seems to be in a PG-13 world, as her new reality carefully censors all vulgarities with ambient noises. No matter what troubles Natalie faces, her stereotypical gay guy-best-friend, previously her rude neighbor Donny (Brandon Scott Jones), appears for moral support. Blake (Liam Hemsworth) tries his best to impress her after falling in love at first sight. Though strange, Natalie tries to take advantage of this only to be disappointed that they can’t have a physical relationship, as it continuously cuts to the morning after scene instead.

While the plot is in some ways unique, it is not particularly inventive. The movie is splashed with Easter eggs from various romance movies. The characters break out into a “La La Land”-esque dance scene and Natalie is seen wearing outfits from “Pretty Woman.” These familiar references bring a sense of nostalgia to the rest of the movie.

But mostly, the movie’s jokes are what make it enjoyable. Natalie is continuously planted in hilarious situations. At the beginning of the movie, a Halal cart owner is seen chasing his runaway cart down the road. Seeing Natalie and her larger body size, he yells at her to stop the cart. This is just one of many scenes in the movie that turn Natalie herself into the butt of the joke.

While it mocks the cliches seen in romantic comedies, “Isn’t It Romantic” still follows the standard cut-and-dried formula for a romantic comedy. Although she ridicules the sappy love seen in rom-coms, Natalie does end up with the one she truly loves.

Even though “Isn’t It Romantic” is short and unmemorable, its humor definitely makes it enjoyable and worth the time to watch it.