Romantic comedies are often dumb, and Rebel Wilson’s first star vehicle Isn’t It Romantic tackles their absurdity. Following a head injury, Natalie (Wilson) finds herself transported into the PG-13 tropes of romcoms with the goal of finding love to get the sexless, falsely cheerful, repetitive world to conclude and take her back to the invigorating shit-smell of real life. The movie is a touch of a mess–as expected–but in a good way (it’s possible!!); the satire from Todd Strauss-Schulson (The Final Girls) is so much fun that goofiness is beyond excusable and is actually somewhat welcome. The random scoot through montages and self-aware humor keeps the pace while leaning slightly toward a Groundhog Day feel.
This story of self-acceptance–less explicit than I Feel Pretty and quite a bit funnier–lives with Rebel Wilson’s exceptional timing and physical comedy brilliance. Fall or trip a hundred times? She nails it. Struggle with defining the friend zone versus attraction? She and Adam Devine seem comfortable and playful, even when the dialogue on the subject is sorely lacking. Shifting from frantic confused woman to desiring her moment with Liam Hemsworth’s Aussie business hunk to nailing an over-the-top Whitney Houston karaoke number (bonus points for exceptional back-up singers), Wilson’s comedic prowess thrives in her central focus. Enjoy this chipper comedy that reminds that the love in Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be love of another, cuz as Mama Ru says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Amen!