“Isn’t It Romantic”: A Whole Lot of Fun

Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine in "Isn't It Romantic"

Netflix’s romantic comedy starring Rebel Wilson is surprisingly original, entertaining and genuinely quite funny.

Rebel Wilson stars as Natalie, an architect who lets all of her colleagues walk all over her. When Natalie was a child, her mother told her that romantic comedies are all lies and that things wouldn’t happen like that for her in the real world. Consequently, Natalie develops a strong hatred for all rom-coms and closes herself off from love entirely.

This all changes when Natalie hits her head and wakes up in a new and shiny world which abides by all the rules and cliches of romantic comedies. Dressed like Julia Roberts in Pretty Women, she bumps into her obnoxious colleague Blake (Liam Hemsworth) who instantly falls for her. He writes his phone number on individual rose petals and she begrudgingly takes them, knowing that the odds of her finding the right combination are minimal.

Of course, in the world of romantic comedies, fate has a way of bringing lovers together. She throws the petals up in the air in her time of need and they land in the right order. The couple spend the night together only tragically, the romantic comedy world she lives in is a PG-13, so they don’t get to do much more than cuddle.

Several funny references and nostalgic gags later, Natalie realizes that she has actually been in love with her best friend the whole time. She wants to tell him how she feels but of course cannot do so without her gay best friend, Donny, who has no life of his own because he is only there to serve her when she has romantic troubles. Donny is an offensive gay stereotype but is crafted well enough for it to be obvious that his character is mocking other movies which use similar stereotypes without acknowledging how ridiculous they are.

What is lovely about the way the movie ended is that yes, it was totally cliche but the lighthearted self-mocking nature of the movie made it the only possible ending. Even though she gets the guy in the end, what she has learned from her time living in romantic comedy land is that the real reason she hates romance is because she has not yet accepted herself. In a dash to break up the wedding and declare her true feelings for her best friend the penny drops and she declares “I love… me!”

With her newfound confidence and openness, she returns to work and presents her architectural idea while taking no crap from anyone. She opens herself up to her best friend and gets her happy ending in more ways than one. Yes, she got the guy but more importantly, she didn’t have to change a thing about herself to get him. She just had to discover how wonderful she already was.