Release date: February 2019
Review, short version: All thumbs down.
Review, long version:
Logic indicates that you can’t do a movie review unless you’ve seen the movie.
I haven’t seen Isn’t It Romantic. But I hate it.
How do I hate it? Let me count the ways.
I hate it because it’s derivative.
There’s so much room – and need – for new ideas in the movie industry, but Isn’t It Romantic lifted its premise straight from the 2018 movie I Feel Pretty.
They didn’t even wait a year to do their rip-off.
I hate it because that premise is, a woman who’s unhappy with herself and her life can become happy with herself and her life…
IF she suffers a head injury.
I hate it even more because one of the reasons the woman in Isn’t It Romantic is not happy with herself or her life because she’s overweight – just as in I Feel Pretty.
Blatant body shaming, in both.
It’s so obvious. If the lead character’s weight isn’t a factor in the story, why not cast a thin actress in the role?
|Rebel Wilson (left) and Priyanka Chopra star in Isn’t It Romantic. Guess which one gets the head injury? Hint: It wasn’t the one chosen Miss World.|
I watch a lot of movies so I’m always interested in new movies, and I watched the trailer for Isn’t It Romantic. In the first 13 seconds we see an overweight young girl, up close to the TV watching Pretty Woman. The girl is smiling and enjoying herself until…
Her mother walks in, sees what her daughter is watching, and admonishes, “Natalie, life’s not a fairytale. Girls like us don’t get that.”
“But why?” Natalie asks.
“Well, look in the mirror, doll. We’re no Julia Roberts.”
Nice. Thanks, Mom.
We fast-forward 25 years, and grown-up Natalie, played by Rebel Wilson, is working in New York and now a romantic comedy hater. In quick succession: mugging, the head injury, and waking up to discover her life has become a romantic comedy.
From there, according to one reviewer, Isn’t It Romantic “simultaneously ridicules and embraces the many, many clichés of the rom-com genre. It knows these movies are pure formula, and it makes fun of that formula in myriad and amusing ways…”
Another reviewer described theme of both Isn’t It Romantic and I Feel Pretty as “the rather unfortunate high-concept subgenre we could call ‘the head injury attitude adjustment,’” and cited yet a third recent movie – What Men Want – as also in the head injury mode.
This female head-injury thing just transitioned from derivative to epidemic.
Hollywood, I repeat: New ideas, please!
The reviewers I read were too sensitive – or too afraid of being politically incorrect – to mention the parallel of overweight Rebel Wilson in Isn’t It Romantic and overweight Amy Schumer in I Feel Pretty, but there’s no need to mention it. It’s right there on the screen: Schumer in her underwear, staring at herself in the mirror and starting to cry:
Wilson dressed in Julie Roberts’ outfit from Pretty Woman, where the contrast is obvious:
One of those “myriad and amusing ways,” yes?
I don’t know if Natalie ends up with one of the male leads, goes back to loving rom-coms, or if her life goes back to what it was pre-head injury, and I don’t care.
I do know that Isn’t It Romantic is derivative. And deplorable.
And just plain dumb.