Isn’t It Romantic

Isn’t It Romantic

2019, PG-13, 88 min. Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson. Starring Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra, Betty Gilpin, Brandon Scott Jones, Jennifer Saunders, Alex Kis.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Feb. 15, 2019

Another weekend highlighted by the release of a rom-com timed to cash in on the Valentine’s Day mood … another movie with a female protagonist who must get bonked on the head in order to see an alternate reality of self-affirmation. Between Isn’t It Romantic and last weekend’s release of the Taraji P. Henson headliner What Men Want (not to mention last spring’s Amy Schumer vehicle I Feel Pretty), the lesson seems to be that only a brain-rattling concussion can allow a woman to see (or hear, in the case of What Men Want) the truth about modern-day sexual relations. To their credit, these movies all argue that their heroines must learn to love themselves before honestly loving someone else. Nevertheless, in spite of these welcome notes of self-positivity, the movies want to have it both ways: receive our Valentine’s Day bonbons and eat them, too.

Of these, Isn’t It Romantic delivers the sharpest critique of our romantic mores in the form of its lead character Natalie (Wilson), a professional woman who allows herself to be undervalued at work and in life. Our first image of her is as a young girl (played by Alex Kis) sitting inches from the TV screen, raptly watching Pretty Woman while her blowsy mother (Saunders) admonishes that they don’t make movies about “girls like us.” Twenty-five years later, that little girl has grown up into a sardonic woman who can spend a day at work enumerating for her rom-com-addicted assistant Whitney (Gilpin) all the reality-defying hallmarks of the genre. She also friend-zones Josh (Devine, who has also served as Wilson’s love interest in the first two Pitch Perfect movies), her biggest supporter at her firm and a guy who’s clearly in love with her. Following her concussion, Natalie is pursued by the rich and handsome Blake (Hemsworth), her apartment suddenly improves in size and decor, and her next-door weed dealer (Jones) morphs into the genre’s requisite gay best friend (whom even the movie’s dialogue calls out as an offensive stereotype). Although her reality has somehow been transformed into a romantic comedy, Rebel Wilson’s signature sarcasm nicely undercuts the genre’s perks.

The screenplay by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox, and Katie Silberman nails the mechanics of a rom-com, even if it takes Wilson’s delivery to drive the lessons home. Scenes are succinct and the movie comes in at 88 minutes even with a tacked-on song-and-dance video at the end (as a nod to the film’s wildly successful karaoke-bar sequence earlier in the film). Even so, there are several throwaway sequences, such as Josh’s meet-cute and follow-up romance with Isabella (Chopra) and a gal-pals-become-competitive-enemies scene that’s a requisite for the genre but thoroughly unnecessary here. With all due respect to Rodgers and Hart, Isn’t It Romantic, the film, is “a dream that can be heard,” but only as a counter melody to the main theme.

Showtimes

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Thu., March 21

CC/DVS 9:50am, 12:20, 3:00, 5:20, 7:40

Fri., March 22

CC/DVS 10:10am, 1:20, 6:40, 9:10

Sat., March 23

CC/DVS 10:40am, 10:30

Sun., March 24

CC/DVS 10:10am, 1:20, 6:40, 9:10

Mon., March 25

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:10, 7:40

Tue., March 26

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:10, 7:40, 10:10

Wed., March 27

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:10, 7:40

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Thu., March 21

digital 10:15am

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Fri., March 22

digital 1:25

Sat., March 23

digital 1:25

Sun., March 24

digital 1:25, 10:40

Mon., March 25

digital 1:25, 7:50

Tue., March 26

digital 1:25

Wed., March 27

digital 1:25, 7:50

Sat., March 23

digital 1:40

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Thu., March 21

digital 11:45am, 2:15, 4:45

Fri., March 22

digital 6:50

Sat., March 23

digital 12:00, 2:30, 7:35

Sun., March 24

digital 12:00, 2:30, 7:35

Mon., March 25

digital 12:00, 2:30, 7:35

Tue., March 26

digital 12:00, 2:30, 7:35

Wed., March 27

digital 12:00, 2:30, 7:35

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., March 21

digital 11:15am

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Thu., March 21

digital 12:10

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Thu., March 21

5:30, 10:55

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Thu., March 21

1:50, 3:15

Fri., March 22

11:35am, 5:25

Sat., March 23

11:35am, 5:25

Sun., March 24

11:35am, 5:25

Mon., March 25

11:35am, 5:25

Tue., March 26

11:35am, 5:25

Wed., March 27

11:35am, 5:25

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Thu., March 21

10:50am, 1:00, 3:10, 5:25

Fri., March 22

11:00am, 2:00, 7:30, 9:40

Sat., March 23

11:00am, 2:00, 7:30, 9:40

Sun., March 24

11:00am, 2:00, 7:30, 9:40

Mon., March 25

11:45am, 2:00, 6:35, 8:45

Tue., March 26

11:45am, 2:00, 6:35, 8:45

Wed., March 27

11:45am, 2:00, 6:35, 8:45

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READ MORE
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Isn’t It Romantic, Todd Strauss-Schulson, Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra, Betty Gilpin, Brandon Scott Jones, Jennifer Saunders, Alex Kis

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