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Both sides, now: 'Isn't It Romantic' is an anti rom-com for rom-com fans

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Caption: REBEL WILSON as Natalie in New Line Cinema's comedy "ISN'T IT ROMANTIC," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

"Isn’t It Romantic"
3 out of 5 Stars
Director:
Todd Strauss-Schulson
Writers: Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox, Katie Silberman
Starring: Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: PG-13 for language, some sexual material, and a brief drug reference

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: As a child, Natalie believed in the magical world of romantic comedies. She’s not a child anymore.

Review: “Isn’t It Romantic” sets out to take the rom-com genre to task, but ultimately surrenders to the standard tropes and clichés. It’s an anti rom-com for people who want to see a rom-com, but are looking to avoid the stigma that comes with loving a genre that is so contrived that its fans refuse to accept anything that doesn’t support the status quo.

Just to humor the filmmakers, we’ll call “Isn’t It Romantic” a comantic dramedy. A rose is a rose, even if it retains its thorns.

Rebel Wilson stars as Natalie, an everywoman for those who have become disillusioned with the way that movies portray romance. One evening Natalie is robbed while riding the subway. In the confrontation, she is knocked out. When she wakes, she finds herself trapped in a world governed by the rules and limitations of a romantic comedy. This affords the storytellers a chance to explore the implausibility of the genre while still giving audiences the romantic comedy that they really want.

The cast, which also includes Liam Hemsworth as the not-so-perfect man, Adam Devine as the lovesick friend, Priyanka Chopra as the beautiful distraction, Betty Gilpin as the competitive co-worker and Brandon Scott Jones as the gay best friend, helps to make up for a script that isn’t nearly as sharp and witty as I would like it to be. That said, the film could have easily have been a complete disaster. That fact that it works at all is impressive.

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