Natalie (Rebel Wilson) and Josh (Adam DeVine) have a conversation about relationships as Josh prepares to marry Isabella (Priyanka Chopra) in the alternate rom-com universe depicted in the film.

Photo courtesy of Michael Parmelee / Warner Bros

Natalie (Rebel Wilson) and Josh (Adam DeVine) have a conversation about relationships as Josh prepares to marry Isabella (Priyanka Chopra) in the alternate rom-com universe depicted in the film.

With February being the month of movie dates and gushy rom-coms, it’s nice to stray away from the norm by watching something a little more realistic, which is exactly what the new film, “Isn’t It Romantic,” offers. Director Todd Strauss-Schulson mocks mainstream romance, capitalizing on the very aspects that make rom-coms so cliché.

Australian comedian Rebel Wilson plays an under-appreciated New York architect, Natalie, who despises all things romantic after enduring a childhood where her mother convinced her that love was unattainable. At work, everyone overlooks Natalie, especially her company’s wealthy client, Blake, played by Liam Hemsworth. The movie takes a turn when she bumps her head and wakes up in her own romantic comedy world, leading Natalie on a quest to return to her regular life.

Throughout the film, Rebel Wilson does a phenomenal job; she cracks several one-liners and uses dramatized expressions, making the audience laugh. She clearly shows her sarcasm whenever possible while still expressing real emotions. Because the movie is PG-13, much of her relatable outbursts are censored in a cliché fashion. For example, in the scene where Natalie realizes that she’s stuck in her own rom-com, she curses outside in public, but her language is censored by the honking of oncoming traffic.

Photo courtesy of IMDB / Public Domain
“Isn’t It Romantic” was released on Feb.13, and it focuses around main character, Natalie, played by Rebel Wilson, who ends up in her own rom-com universe after falling unconscious.

The charming Adam DeVine, who plays Natalie’s co-worker, Josh, also uses his nerdy and desperate aura to show the audience a character that can exist in real life as well as in movies. DeVine’s character could have been developed a bit more at the beginning of the movie, as his sweet, romantic personality was not shown until the very end. Priyanka Chopra gives a spot-on performance as the “fake” girlfriend of Josh’s dreams. She shows the right amount of jealousy and superiority as most girlfriends do in basic romantic comedies.

Liam Hemsworth did a fantastic job of switching between his character in Natalie’s old life and her new life. In the real world, Hemsworth is able to keep a serious tone and stuck-up personality; however, he changes into a lighthearted, naive guy who falls head over heels for Natalie in the rom-com universe. Blake is seemingly dedicated to Natalie when she first enters the rom-com universe, but he soon proves to be pretty self-centered and unempathetic.

The purpose of the movie, to show the audience that self-love is the only love that will truly lead to happiness, was well-achieved; however, the plotline was a bit messy. Once the ending is revealed, it is clear that several of the characters had unnecessary development at the beginning of the film, while others were lacking the development they deserved. In fact, in Natalie’s romantic alternate universe, she has her own—wait for it, yes—GBF (gay best friend), Donny. Donny is a major source of humor in the scenes that he appears in, but the development of his character in the real world was lacking. Also, much of the character development happened at the end of the movie when Natalie finally figured out how to escape the rom-com world. This ended up making the plot move too quickly in the last half hour of the movie. The fast-paced ending made the rest of the film seem too slow, but the occasional humor and well-known actors saved this movie from becoming another tired rom-com with an unnecessary story.

The ending of the film was pretty cheesy if you’ve ever seen a rom-com before. Josh’s and Donny’s characters became more developed, and they both help Natalie figure out how to go back to the real world. Donny’s lovable character should have made more of an appearance in the movie. His lack of participation in many of the scenes just goes to show another rom-com cliché where the GBF is only that—a gay best friend.

“Isn’t It Romantic” is a movie for rom-com lovers and those who find satire humorous. Couples, families, and groups of friends alike can all enjoy the film’s ever-present comedic value and relatable character carried out through Rebel Wilson’s incredible acting. Despite the film’s foreseeable outcome and use of trite aspects of typical rom-coms, “Isn’t It Romantic” proved to be a laughable movie that shows the audience an empowering message about self-love.