I’ve been promising myself that I would revive my regular blog posting and then promptly breaking that promise.
Sorry blog, it’s not you, it’s me.
So, I am easing my way back into my blog’s favour with a straightforward film review.
When I saw the ad for Isn’t it Romantic I was afraid that it would turn out to be a one joke film with only enough laughs to fill a trailer nevertheless I remained intrigued. I was both wrong and right on both counts.
The trend of parodying well-worn comedy tropes is not a new concept. On television you may have seen it executed in the latter stages of the slick and always funny 30 Rock, more recently (and still being done) in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the genre hopping Community parodied sit-coms and almost every variety of film plot types it could lay it’s hands on, and, to a certain degree, the art of the comedy parody has ‘died and gone to heaven’ in elements of The Good Place.
But this is the first romantic comedy parody film I have watched. Natalie (Rebel Wilson), a frustrated, put upon architect and outspoken a romantic comedy cynic, gets a bump on the head and wakes from her humdrum existence finding her life has turned into a Romantic Comedy hell, where with her as the unwilling centre of interest.
Wilson is charmingly brash and carries the lead effortlessly, Adam Devine, (as Josh, Natalie’s best friend) seems to be channeling a Jack Lemon/Jason Bateman crossover, which works perfectly in the parameters of the parody, Liam Hemsworth and Priyanka Chopra pull off their easy roles as the narcissistic and beautiful vying suitors.
With heavy references to Pretty Woman and other classics of the genre, the plot demands to be very obvious and because of the nature of the parody this works to a point but does becomes tired before the end. Nonetheless, for me, the aspect that helps the one joke film from exhausting itself completely is the charming attention to detail the writers and production have put into the transformation not just of the personalities in Natalie’s life but into the sets of her home, her office, her New York suburbs, down to the different styles of direction for the film’s extra actors. This amount of effort put into the makeover of Natalie’s world was just enough to get me to the end and, yet, it still manages to become a parody of itself.
While this film isn’t aimed at a 48 year old single Irish male, still, it was a fun 70 minutes or so and has a nice message about self-worth that my impressionable teenage persona could have done with. One for staunch fans of romantic comedies as you may imagine.
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