The romantic comedy, one of my favorite genres, having given us such fantastic films like 10 Things I Hate About You, Bridget Jones Diary, and so many others. Well, in a move that has never been attempted before, a new film is attempting to parody and make fun of the rom-com. Isn’t it Romantic is the latest of that incredibly niche genre of poking out all the flaws in rom-coms, and after seeing the trailer, I was pretty pumped for it. 80s music, some good jokes, and Lucifer himself, Tom Ellis in a cameo?
I was anticipating this one pretty heavily, so when I saw it on Valentine’s day in a sold out auditorium, I took that as a good sign. 88 minutes later, I walked out of that auditorium with a giant smile on my face. Isn’t it Romantic is definitely my favorite movie of the year so far, and let me tell you why.
First, I’m going to talk about the comedy of the film, as that is certainly the best thing about it. Now, does it fall back on the “overweight person getting hit by things” that people like Melissa McCarthy and Chris Farley used so often? Of course it does, but there is some legitimately funny moments in the film.
There are so many tropes in Rom-Coms which have shots taken at them. We get the “Wait, they’re already getting married” and the “gay best friend” thing, but there is one scene that is just amazing, which comes during a karaoke scene. As a lover of 80s music, I was just overcome with joy. The choreography, as well as the comedic timing combines to make one of the funniest scenes in recent memory.
Speaking of being overcome with joy, I want to talk about how amazing the ending is. Now there are classic rom-com endings like Jerry Maguire, Notting Hill, and more films that my father is embarrassed I’ve seen. I would include Isn’t It Romantic in that pile, as the ending of the film is an extremely emotional, as well as uplifting moment. I don’t want to spoil the ending even though it is somewhat easy to predict, but it’s just such a heartwarming scene that even though it’s predictable makes for a great rom-com “Profession of Love” scene. It balances humor, heart, and just plain emotion, as I could hear the entire theatre around me just bawling away. One of the better movie endings in recent memory, or at least since Vice two months ago.
Now, that’s really all I have to talk about when it comes to the positives of the film, so I might as well get into the sole problem, which is somewhat of a big one, I have with it. The biggest problem I have is the sometimes hypocritical nature of the story. While I enjoyed the extremely brisk 88 minute runtime, the story itself falls back on the very thing it mocks over and over again, the romantic comedy set-up. Now, with out that set-up, the film has no story, but the fact that it repeatedly says “Oh, Rom-Com tropes are stupid” while engaging in those very same tropes is wildly irritating.
Now I don’t mean the things that the film does on purpose like making the two female coworkers hate each other, as that is the entire joke of the movie. What I mean is the main character saying “Oh, fairy tale endings in movies are so stupid” and then having a character turnaround to where she thinks that fairy tale endings are the best thing in the world. It’s the rapid character development that if and when it’s spread out over the entire film works, but does not work when you just shoehorn some last second stuff for a happy (still fantastic) ending. It’s in the same regard that I find certain parts of Deadpool 2 kinda tiresome. If you make fun of something and then turn around immediately to do the same thing, it’s just annoying.
Well, those are my thoughts on Isn’t it Romantic, my favorite movie of the year so far, but it’s just generally been a boring year so far. This time last year I had already seen my favorite movie of the year Annihilation, as well as several other enjoyable films like The Commuter and The Cloverfield Paradox, which I believe is a film only liked by me. Still, Isn’t it Romantic is currently top of the heap over films like Miss Bala and Serenity, so take of that what you will. Still, Isn’t it Romantic is a film I’d recommend to anyone who is need of a good laugh, a good cry, or a good time.