“Isn’t It Romantic” (2019)

From the director of The Final Girls, another meta-film about characters being trapped in a particular genre, comes this slight improvement, but that doesn’t automatically make this movie good. While it mostly captures the atmospheric feel of your typical rom-com, it sometimes goes a bit too far with its fluffy attitude (the writing of the phone number on flower petals was too much). While Rebel Wilson does alright with the material, her character’s savviness with rom-coms fluctuates. By far the biggest issue with this film is its inconsistency. The rules in which this film’s universe operates feels both poorly defined and inconstant. And the film can’t seem to decide if it’s playfully ribbing romantic comedies, or if it’s actively trying to make a statement about how rom-coms give women a negative perspective of reality. This is not helped by the fact that many of the rom-com clichés are played completely straight, barring a “Really? That’s so cliché,” lampshade hanging from Wilson. And simply pointing out that something is cliché isn’t true subversion in and of itself. This film isn’t a complete waste though; there are some funny moments, there are a few genuinely sweet moments (including one at the very end of the film that’s really great), and most of the acting is fine (especially Brandon Scott Jones, who brilliantly plays a caricature of a gay stereotype). But still, for a self-reflective work, I expect the script to be much smarter than this.

Rating: 2.5/5

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