I don’t know why but I have had the worst luck with picking movies lately.
The trailers for this year’s big Valentine’s Day movie, “Isn’t It Romantic,” have been popping up everywhere for a good two months. And honestly, I’ve been so excited to see it. It combines three things I love: romantic comedies, musical numbers and anyone from the cast of the “Pitch Perfect” movies. In this case, the “Pitch Perfect” cast members that brought me in were Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine.
In this film, Wilson plays an architect in New York City who tries to be a little more open, and she ends up hitting her head so hard that she wakes up in the world of a PG-13-rated romantic comedy. And she hates those movies.
Wilson’s character, Natalie, has to learn to navigate the new world that she describes looks like “someone put a beauty filter over New York City.” She has a larger-than-life existence that resembles every unrealistic romantic comedy trope. She has the huge expensive apartment, with a stereotypical gay sidekick, beautiful expensive clothes she could never afford, an arch-nemesis at work and a whirlwind romance with an incredibly attractive client (Liam Hemsworth.)
The more I saw the trailers for the movie, I was so excited to see it. I regret to say that this movie did not live up to the hype.
I can’t decide if maybe I don’t like romantic comedies as much as I thought I did or the film just wasn’t great.
The film makes many callbacks to romantic comedies like “Pretty Woman.” Wilson even walks out of the hospital is a lost-and-found outfit that is the exact cream dress with silver buttons that Julia Roberts steps out in during “Pretty Woman.” Along her walk around New York City, it’s almost as if the universe is forcing “meet-cutes” on her as she trips and men catch her.
A meet-cute, for those who don’t know, is the scene in a movie where the two love interests meet in a cute way like when a barista mixes up their coffee orders or they bump into each other and their hands touch while they pick up their belongings.
But I think that this weird plot where she falls into the alternative universe and has to navigate it doesn’t have the same appeal of the actual movies like “Sleepless in Seattle” and “The Notebook.”
While the jabs at the ridiculousness of rom-coms are funny, they’re a little too out there. At one point, Hemsworth’s character writes his phone number on the petals of a flower and separates them all and throws them into Wilson’s hat. Later, when she tries to call them, she kisses the petals and drops them. Miraculously, they separate out into the exact formation of his cell number.
I think the reason that audiences can suspend their disbelief for overly cheesy movies are because the characters are believeable. The main characters in rom-coms win our hearts because they feel real emotions and have real desires. Wilson's just trying to navigate a world where she just picked a random attractive guy.
Not to mention the fact that all the funniest, laugh-out-loud parts of the movie were basically spoiled in the trailer.
I’m obviously trying not to ruin too much of the movie for those who still want to see it. I do think it has a great ending. And, as Wilson has been quick to point out in interviews leading up to the release, very rarely do we see women above a size 4 cast in these kind of roles. The representation is awesome. Also, it’s a great laugh for date night. I think Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine are hilarious together.
However, I don’t think I’d see it again in a theater. I’ll save those trips for movies I can’t wait to rent from Redbox to watch from the comfort of my own home.