Review: "Isn't It Romantic" Is A RomCom After All

February 18, 2019

 

To understand my affinity for RomComs, one will need to start from the very beginning. Specifically, the year 1990. I was a freshman in high school and I had just been introduced to Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" and my young impressionable mind was just starting to understand puberty, relationships and now love.

 

Enter Julia Roberts and the movie "Pretty Woman" - one of the greatest RomComs of my childhood. This movie dug its claws into my heart and brain and ever since then, I have been obsessed with the RomCom belief that "love will conquer all." 

 

For many years after, I would watch Meg and Julia (and Sandra and Reece and Hugh) in many, many more iterations of the RomCom. The genre had exploded and the world was obsessed with falling in love. The list is too long for me to go through, so I won't bore you with my all time faves. But what I will say is this, if you were lucky enough to know titles like "You've Got Mail, Notting Hill, Hope Floats, She's All That and Sweet Home Alabama" - you have been blessed with cinematic memories that this generation will never understand. (unless they find it on Netflix) 

 

Sadly, over the last decade, the RomCom has silently disappeared from Hollywood. Sure, there have been many attempts at reviving the genre on both the  small and big screen, but audiences have been hesitant to embrace them they way they once did. In its place, sad love stories like a "A Walk To Remember, The Fault In Our Stars " and later in life love stories like Nights in Rodanthe, Under The Tuscan Sun and Must love Dogs have been filling the void. It's almost as if you could hear Hollywood saying love only exists for those dying and desperate. 

 

But who's to blame for the shift? Hollywood or us? The answer is all of the above. The world of love and relationships has changed so dramatically over the last decade, Hollywood can only respond in the way its audience has grown and changed. Which leads me to "Isn't It Romantic." 

 

While the movie attempts to mock its predecessors, it's actually part of the growing genre of RomCom parodies. These parodies were made popular by tv shows like "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" , "Love (Netflix)" and even "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Mindy Project." All these shows cleverly delivered the same RomCom recipe, but mixed it up with and "anti-love" point of view. As long as you said you didn't believe in love, you were ok to talk about it. 

 

 

Enter "Isn't It Romantic",  a funny and fresh set of eyes on the world of love and the modern conversation about what love means to us in 2019. The movie's main character, Natalie is a quirky, yet honest interpretation of the everyday single woman hustling to carve out her place in the world she lives in. While Natalie fumbles through some early plot development, she quickly reminds us that she is an independent woman and can read the the post #MeToo room when she reminds the audience that women don't need love to be happy in life and that men, are not our end all be all. 

 

But even after all that fumbling and dialog, the movie hits many comedic high notes as it delivers joke after joke about the ridiculous plot lines of RomComs past. This of course could only be successfully delivered by Rebel Wilson who hits her acting stride by being the person who we want her to be, the everyday dater (aka us). 

 

As a fan of every single RomCom ever made, I found myself tickled to see the many nods to RomComs of the past. Additionally, there was an abusive (but appreciated) usage of old school RomCom theme songs like Vanessa Carlton's "1000 Miles", Donna Lewis' "I love you, Always forever" and yes, even the classic hit "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None The Richer. 

 

Isn't it Romantic hits all the high notes of a RomCom while not trying too hard to be stern hater of the genre like many of the its current movie and tv iterations. In fact, if you watch closely, you will see that the movie actually is a true RomCom at its core, and does a wonderful job of transitioning the conversation of being single and independent while also being a sappy romantic at heart.  

 

I highly encourage everyone to go watch this movie, if not for the comedy, but to experience the nostalgia of the RomComs we once loved and will likely never see again. 

 

Cupid Rating: 4 HEARTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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