Isn’t It Romantic (2019)

TODD STRAUSS-SCHULSON

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5

USA, 2019, , , Story by , Screenplay by Erin Cardillo, , Cinematography by Produced by , , , Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by .

loved Pretty Woman as a little girl but has grown up to realize that life can never fulfill the aspirational promise of a romantic comedy: her apartment is a cramped shithole, her New York City neighbourhood smells like garbage, the city’s handsome men are neither available nor interested in her and, even though she has the impressive career of an architect, she is treated like a secretary at her drab office. She feels cynical about love and believes it will never happen, insulting her lovelorn assistant () and ignoring the charms of the project manager at her office () because he isn’t as dreamy as the rude but studly business tycoon () who has come in for a meeting. A mugging incident on the subway gets Wilson thrown face-first into a pole and she passes out, waking up in the most extreme rom-com of her dreams, every street corner decorated with flower-pots, every second storefront a cupcake bakery and every gentleman a handsome prince ready to love her for who she is on the inside. Unable to understand the nonsense she is living, Wilson indulges in an affair with the now devoted Hemsworth and enjoys the bright colours and spontaneous choreography, eventually questioning the values she had regarding partnership and self-worth. The laughs are deep and plenty from the start of this delightful satire, one whose pokes at the targeted genre are cruel jabs that are well deserved and given an additional pleasure by the constant look of incredulity on the star’s face. It’s as light and unimportant as the movies it is making fun of, and its empowerment message rings hollow, but it commits so beautifully to the cruelty of its gags that it can easily spread one joke over the whole film without dimming the humour (the “lost and found” outfit she is given to leave the hospital is memorably hilarious all on its own).

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