REVIEW: Isn’t It Romantic skewers genre tropes it succumbs to itself

Love is reality is not like the movies. He’s not going to pick you in in a horse and carriage, your eyes won’t meet from across the room and ignite each other’s souls, and not every story — not even half of them — has a happy ending.

Love sucks, and we, as well as main character Natalie, were born and bred to believe that our lives were going to be triumphant, joy-filled and packed with purpose.

We have been conditioned by every ever-optimistic romantic comedy since the dawn of time that things would always be okay. We were meant to believe we’d get the guy and our misgivings would be baseless and happily ever after exists.

But for Natalie, things aren’t perfect. She doesn’t have everything she wants. And when she bonks her head and wakes up inside a romantic comedy, she can’t stand it. Everything is sunshine and lollipops, and she lets the audience in on a secret they already know deep down: It’s all a lie, a ruse, a facade.

What saves this film from being an absolute downer is that Rebel Wilson is a multi-talented, relateable actress who has a confidence we can all aspire to. She’s hilarious as she brushes off a spellbound Liam Hemsworth, and trudges her way through the cliches she clung to as she watched movies like Pretty Woman as a child.

As she pushes to find a way back to the old life she had previously hated, though, we realize something: Life may not be a fairy tale, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be open to the possibilities.

While Rebel Wilson’s film ultimately falls to the girl-gets-boy, everything’s okay cliches it wants to skewer, it also provides hope. It provides light to a cynical audience and shows them love — and life — don’t have to be perfect to be worthwhile.

Isn’t It Romantic? is, in fact, romantic. It’s also pretty hilarious.

While the satire doesn’t quite stick, it’s still a pretty great time at the movies, and holds true to the one romantic comedy rule worth holding on to: Love, in all its imperfection and elusive glory, is a beautiful thing.

Even if you’re only experiencing the power of it on a movie screen.

3.5/5 Stars

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