ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson with Rebel Wilson, Liam Hensworth, Adam DeVine and Priyanka Chopra. Netflix.
KAREN RUTTER reviews
I just love Rebel Wilson, ever since I saw Pitch Perfect , and then later caught her a couple of off-beat parts in films like Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and Bridesmaids. She’s got this no-nonsense, in your-face vibe going down, and a great feel for comic timing. All of which she uses to good effect in Isn’t It Romantic?, where she gets to play the lead.
The premise is kind of cutesy-clever – Wilson plays Natalie, an overlooked and overworked architect with low-to-no self esteem. She’s particularly irked by rom-com movies with happy endings. When she knocks herself out after fighting off a mugger, she wakes up in a world which has turned into an over-the-top version of every rom-com you’ve ever seen.
Billionaires and gay best friends
The streets of New York are no longer dirty, they’re decorated with flowers; men give her admiring compliments; and she’s dashingly wooed by a handsome billionaire called Blake (Liam Hensworth). Even Natalie’s grumpy neighbour Donny becomes a flamboyant gay best friend (every gal’s gotta have one). Meanwhile, her colleague Josh (Adam Devine) is similarly beguiled by swimsuit model Isabella (Priyanka Chopra), and all seems set for one big ole joint happy-ending wedding. Via a series of rom-com cliches – cue the synchronised dance scenes. Until Natalie sees the light, and tries to rewrite the script …
Wilson has some great lines, and it’s amusing to see her team up once again with Devine (they’re former Pitch Perfect partners). Hensworth and Chopra basically just have to look beautiful and a little dumb, which they manage just fine. And the smaller roles are managed with aplomb. It’s basically a fun film with a little sarcastic edge – easy watching for all (even if the ending is a bit of an ironic cop out).
But I don’t like the film’s underlying premise, which is basically that it’s blatantly ridiculous to imagine Thor being attracted to Fat Amy. Because that’s what a lot of the laughs are really about – the ridiculousness of a rich good looking guy falling in love with an overweight woman.
So … yes, I love watching Rebel Wilson. But I hope I next see her in a film that plays to her funny, and not to her fat.
What: Isn’t it Romantic?