With Valentine's Day, a double issue of Entertainment Weekly devoted to romantic-comedies and now the film "Isn't It Romantic", February is obviously the love month, not to forget two lovely people born in that month, but I'm not mentioning names, just saying one is a Leap Year baby.
The film is a homage to the genre of, at least, the past 30 months including "Notting Hill", "Love Actually" and starting off with the theme song "Pretty Woman" sung by Roy Orbison only we are in New York City instead of Beverly Hills. Along the way you will see Rebel Wilson dressed in the famous white dress suit and, oh yes, that red dress! There is a karaoke salute to "My Best Friend's Wedding" and a dance scene in Central Park!
From watching a young Natalie (Alex Kis) being told by her mother that there is no happy ending for girls like her we segue into adult Natalie (Rebel Wilson), an architect, working into work where we meet various co-workers who treat her indifferently or worse. We also meet her co-workers like Josh (Adam Devine) who is also her BFF along with Whitney (Betty Gilpin) her assistant, addicted to watching romantic-comedies while working. Along the way we meet the mandatory next door gay sidekick Donny (Brandon Scott Jones), the must-have hunk potential lover Blake (Liam Hemsworth) not to forget the beautiful model Isabella (Priyanka Chopra) who may, or may not, steal the true love Natalie is destined for (and if you follow the genre you know who that is!)
The premise is Natalie being robbed and knocking herself out running away only to wake up in a Hollywood version of life, especially in romantic comedies. Manhattan changes from a dirty, smelly, ugly city to one that is freshly washed and scrubbed with flowers on fire escapes, street curbs and picture ready for Martha or Oprhey's magazines. We are now in a romantic Hollywood comedy and all that goes with that, including lessons learned. There is a segment filmed at Park Avenue and East 40th Street that is absolutely sparkling--Hollywood magic? :O)
"Isn't It Romantic?", because of all the cliches, follows the rules but here we have a different type of heroine and Rebel Wilson grounds the negative aspects by being a woman not swayed by the glamour of her surroundings. I did not see her "Pitch Perfect" movies so this was a, more or less, introduction and she has a powerhouse voice.
Though not a must-see movie "Isn't It Romantic" is a fun movie that doesn't overstay its welcome in a fast moving 90 minutes.