In Rebel Wilson's latest film “Isn’t It Romantic”, a young woman, cynical about love and romance is trapped inside a beautiful, parallel universe of exactly those two things.
After an intensive 10 days of Sundance Film Festival followed by binge watching Oscar nominations, I was ready to kick back and be entertained by a light-hearted, colorful, slightly silly, rom-com. “Isn’t It Romantic” did the trick.
In researching Rebel Wilson's Hollywood career, I realized I'd first seen her in “Bridesmaids” in a role Judd Apatow created just for her. She held her own, amongst a heavy-duty female comedic cast including Kristen Wigg, Melissa McCarthy and Mya Rudolf. I haven't seen the series of “Pitch Perfect” films in which she is also part of an ensemble cast but, in this film, she is the star and shines brightly.
In a nutshell, Rebel is Natalie, a young New York City architect, appreciated more for her willingness to deliver coffee and doughnuts and fix the office copy machine than for her innovative designs.
She's grown up believing that falling in love is a bunch of B.S. perpetuated by ridiculous romantic comedies and has steeled herself against any possibility it could happen to her until it does.
I'll not try to convince you this film has a life-changing message of empowerment but it sort of does in a fun and flashy way.
Natalie finds herself transported from her 'real life' into a world where she participates in one cliched, romantic scenario after another. A film buff would recognize a long list of iconic film scenes being parodied; including the wardrobe of “Pretty Woman” to one-liners from “When Harry Met Sally”. It pokes fun at the entire genre and still manages to give us a satisfying 'happily-ever-after' ending.
Rebel Wilson is supported by cast members Adam Devine, Liam Hemsworth, Priyanka Chopra, Betty Gilpin and Brandon Scott Jones all taking on two different personas to tell the story. It is Wilson, however, who holds the spotlight and delivers a great comedic performance. She is just so natural at being funny she's a pleasure to watch.
The Rotten Tomatoes critic site gives it a 63% Audience Score, so it isn't being received as well as many of the rom-coms at which it pokes fun, but if you are up for a giggle and a delightfully talented young actress you can't go wrong.
“Isn’t It Romantic” is rated PG-13 for 'language, some sexual material and a brief drug reference and runs 1 hour and 28 fun minutes. The Friday Film Review is sponsored by Park City Film