Movie Review: It’s Not Romantic, isn’t it?

Movie Review: It’s Not Romantic, isn’t it?
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Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. He is a graduate of Journalism and Performing Arts from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Isn’t it romantic watching couples fall in love at Valentine’s Day? Isn’t it more so when you see them on the silver screen? And shouldn’t be be funny watching comedians lampooning the most trope-stuffed genre of them all?

The answer to all of these should be “Yes.” But like true love itself, trying too hard to be funny often creates the opposite effect. Isn’t it Romantic? is neither funny nor heartfelt, and most of it is laughably bad to watch.

Rebel Wilson stars as Natalie. She’s a big-city architect in her early thirties with low self-esteem and knee-jerk rejection to love. After hitting her head, she wakes up as the star of her own big budget romantic comedy. Hating every second of it, she must find a way to escape.

What’s most upsetting is the movie is guilty of the same annoying cliches the story is trying to parody. The basic premise before the dream-like rom com begins is the same awful introduction that Natalie loathes so passionately.

Photo: New Line Cinema

Adam DeVine is a poorly matched co-star for Wilson’s clearly superior comedic timing. Liam Hemsworth, the “other guy”, is only entertaining in a mid-credits appearance playing the saxophone. If he said the word “beguiling” one more time, I was ready to walk up to the screen and punch his character in the face.

Most audiences can tell within the first half hour there won’t be a single original concept in the movie. Instead of satirizing or commenting on the silliness of romances, they engage in short, witless banter. It feels more like someone reading an encyclopedia aloud instead of watching a comedy.

Even worse is the painfully clear predictability; you can speak lines just before the characters can. Both I and my date for the night guessed the ending exactly after the second scene. (Most of the character arc matches last year’s I Feel Pretty from beginning to end.)

How can any movie be entertaining if there isn’t even a slight chance of surprise? If there’s no suspense, conflict – there’s no drama. With no romance or humour either, there’s nothing interesting to watch.

There are a few funny lines. The dazzling positivity is hard to berate too hard. And while Wilson isn’t given the freedom akin to her iconic performance as Fat Amy, she’s still a talented actress.

But these small positives don’t offset the boredom and passive humour. It’s as colourful as it is forgettable, and that’s being polite. Devoid of love and interest, Isn’t it Romantic? is a misleading, poorly titled mess.

Isn’t it Romantic?
1 1/2 out of 4 stars

PG, 1hr 28mins. Romance Comedy.
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson.
Starring Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Liam Hemsworth, Priyanka Chopra and Brandon Scott James.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.


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