I enjoy smart, self-aware comedies when they are warranted. They are useful to make commentaries on different ideas. Oftentimes, these ideas are those often portrayed on film. A recent example of this would be The LEGO Movie 2. While it wasn’t totally successful in its execution, it plays with the ideas of sequels and film properties. I personally enjoyed the first film in that series more because it was able to bring this commentary more effectively. But there was another movie that came out around the same time as LEGO Movie 2 that was even more successful in its attempts to comment on an idea from film, and that is Isn’t It Romantic.
In this film, Rebel Wilson plays a woman who you would not normally expect to lead in a romantic comedy. But that’s because this isn’t your typical romantic comedy, because the main character knows that she is in a romantic comedy… Yes, it sounds odd, but it’s very well-done.
This is a film filled with one-liners, dance numbers, and music, but it is the meaning behind it that really makes it work. With a twist at the end that I should have seen coming, but totally surprised me nonetheless, this movie brings something unique and important to this genre. A lot of the jokes don’t land, which can make it seem sort of dull at times, but the ending provides a good enough payoff to make up for some of these missing laughs. In addition, the ensemble cast, which includes Adam Devine, Liam Hemsworth, and Priyanka Chopra are lovable enough to at least make you feel like you’re having a good time watching the film and hanging out with your friends.
While following the typical conventions of the genre, this movie is defying them at the same time. It exemplifies what it means to be smart with your writing when making a movie that seems formulaic on the surface.
When it comes down to it, there are much better movies out there right now. But people will watch this movie and appreciate it for what it is and what it’s trying to say (which I can’t explain due to spoilers). Because it says something important and that can count for a whole lot.