Isn’t It Romantic

Movie Information

Rebel Wilson proves generally ready for leading lady status in this skewering of rom-com conventions.
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Fantasy
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Starring: Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra, Betty Gilpin
Rated: PG-13

Issues of absent titular punctuation aside, Isn’t It Romantic operates a step above David Wain’s overrated They Came Together in the realm of modern rom-com parodies.

Framed within consistently clean and occasionally inventive visuals from director Todd Strauss-Schulson (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas), Rebel Wilson proves generally ready for leading lady status as underrespected New York City architect Natalie, who’s been trained by her salty mom (Jennifer Saunders, sadly in just one scene) from a young age to distrust the messages in Pretty Woman and the like.

Shortly after laying out the genre’s conventions to her best friend Whitney (Betty Gilpin, Netflix’s “GLOW”), Natalie proceeds to encounter all of the clichés and more after she bumps her head and wakes up in — weekend theme alert! — an alternate timeline.

Navigating this absurd world, ruled by Hunger Games-like forces to keep it cheekily PG-13, Wilson earns frequent laughs, especially when paired with her Pitch Perfect co-star Adam Devine as Josh, the textbook guy friend whom she’d realize is her perfect match if she ever paid full attention.

Much as Josh must perform his function for Isn’t It Romantic to work, however, the bulk of the film is predictable to a fault, but the barrage of genre skewering along the way makes it a fun, worthwhile view.

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA).

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