REVIEW: Rebel Wilson sends up rom-com genre in ‘Isn’t It Romantic’

rebel wilson isn't it romantic
Photo: Netflix

The soft filter over New York City. The impossibly large apartment. The job you rarely attend, therefore making it near-impossible to afford said apartment. The sassy gay friend setting gay rights back a couple decades.

These are the ingredients to nearly every rom-com that we can’t help but love and devour (despite knowing their massive improbabilities) and it’s these cliches that have been purposely adhered to in Isn’t It Romantic, an on-the-nose romantic comedy that delights in poking fun at the genre as well as serving up the most prime of examples.

Headlined and produced by our own Rebel Wilson, the film earned itself a suitable Valentine’s weekend release in the US but Netflix picked up distribution rights internationally. If you were feeling a little cautious due to it bypassing the theatres, you can rest assured knowing it’s a far grander production than most Netflix movies are afforded.

The story itself is simple (rom-com cliche #1) with Wilson’s New York-living architect – though her natural accent is kept intact – considerably angry at the cliches the genre pushes on its audience.

It only makes sense that after she is knocked unconscious following a run-in with a mugger, she wakes in a seriously glossy alternate timeline where her scrappy apartment is now a loft of unfathomable excess.

In her new world, her wardrobe reads as a who’s who of designer labels and the seeming man of her dreams (Liam Hemsworth, delivering a wonderful mix of dopey and vapidity) is too good to be true.

In its attempt to make fun of the rom-com genre, Isn’t It Romantic enjoys rolling out the expected beats in near-record time.

But if like Wilson’s character, you aren’t a fan of these types of love stories, you’re unlikely to align yourself cause this is still very much a cliched affair (complete with a song-and-dance number where everyone knows the choreography), even if wants to say “look how silly these films are”.

That being said, Isn’t It Romantic is, on its own accord, one of the better example of the genre, and it helps that its cast are all wholly capable of both playing to and against the stereotypes.

Wilson makes for a likeable lead and Hemsworth’s having an awfully good time in a rare comedic turn.

Adam Devine is suitably adorable as the best friend we all know Wilson should end up with. Brandon Scott Jones, who plays her flamboyant neighbour, is a real treasure even if he is pandering to the stereotype that all queer best friends are an encyclopaedia of sass.

Isn’t It Romantic is streaming now on Netflix. Watch the trailer below:


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