By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Romantic comedies rank pretty high on my favorite movie genres list, right along with horror and action films.
So, to have two very funny comedies out in February, starting with Taraji P. Henson’s
box office hit, “What Men Want”
and now “Isn’t it Romantic”
with Rebel Wilson
--which should do brisk business with Valentine’s Day approaching—seems to bode well for the rom-com. I hope so anyway.
In “Isn’t it Romantic,” from director Todd Strauss-Schulson
(“The Final Girls”), Rebel Wilson stars as Natalie. We first see her as a young, chubby girl (played by newcomer Alex Kis), who is totally glued to the television watching the movie “Pretty Woman.”
Natalie loves romantic comedies. She watches them all the time because she can dream about what it would be like when she gets older and be swept off her feet by a handsome man and live happily ever after just like in the movies.
However, her mother--(Jennifer Saunders, TV’s “Moominvalley”) whose real name should be Debbie Downer—tells little Natalie to stop wasting her time with these movies because they aren’t realistic and girls that look like her don’t have lives like the gorgeous women in the movies. Life’s not a fairy tale she adds.
Clearly Natalie’s mom has had some bad experiences with men and despite her good intentions for Natalie it doesn’t help her self-esteem when she gets older.
In fact, 25-years later, Natalie (Wilson) is living in a cluttered, New York apartment with her little doggy as her only companion. She’s apparently listened to every word her mother said and has shunned any chance at romance and even male friendships for that matter.
Natalie works at an architecture firm and has great ideas for the company, but she’s often ignored and not taken seriously by management and a few of her co-workers. There is one guy named Josh (Adam DeVine, TV’s “Modern Family”) in her office who really likes her for her, but Natalie is clueless about him.
Josh later becomes a hero when he saves a supermodel (a funny Priyanka Chopra, TV’s “Quantico”) from choking to death. She then falls in love with him. Still, deep down Josh has feelings for Natalie.
Natalie’s life takes a major turn. One day while at the subway station, she’s mugged. She makes a valiant effort to fight off her attacker. As she runs away, she lands smack dab into a metal pole and knocks herself out.
She’s taken to the hospital and when she wakes up, everything around her is strikingly beautiful and picture perfect. The streets are pristine. Her doctor (Tom Ellis, TV’s “Lucifer”) is gorgeous. It’s all like the backdrop of all those romantic comedies she’s watched over the years. What’s going on here?
It gets better too.
Natalie’s once tiny apartment is now huge and spectacularly decorated and she has a fabulous best friend (Brandon Scott Jones, TV’s “The Other Two”) at the ready for any advice and guidance she needs.
When Natalie literally runs into a rich and sexy businessman (Liam Hemsworth, “Independence Day: Resurgence”), it’s so on.
But, wait. Natalie knows the drill about how these romantic stories go. She can see all the music and dance numbers coming a mile away. Yet, as hard as she tries, Natalie can’t resist getting caught up in this fantastic new world.
Once she goes all in, Natalie is confident, sexy and full of life and music as she and others appear at any given moment to dance and sing up a storm. She goes with it for a while and then realizes, she has more to offer not only to others, but herself.
“Isn’t it Romantic” pokes fun at romantic comedies, yet, also in a wonderful, cheeky and vibrant way also pays homage to them. Best of all, the movie--which is a tight 88 minutes long--keeps things light, airy and refreshingly funny.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.
If You Can Stand It Check Out This Trailer For "ISN'T IT ROMANTIC"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The Alliance Of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.