Review: Isn’t It Romantic to love yourself?


The poster for Isn’t It Romantic’s theatrical release

Amelia Foster, A&E Editor

Hollywood’s newest romantic comedy, or romcom, is unique from the get-go. Isn’t It Romantic is a satire that revolves around Natalie, played by the hilarious Rebel Wilson, a pessimistic girl who wakes up from a coma in the world of a romcom, and decides that the only way to leave this fantasy world is to find love. Although she doesn’t initially know it, the main love story is between Natalie and herself.

From a young age, Natalie had been taught that “girls like her” don’t find the true love shown in movies, and those teachings have manifested themselves into a girl who is closed-off to any form of love. She is visibly and vocally uncomfortable at being in a romcom, and who wouldn’t be confused when everyone is suddenly head-over-heels in love with you?

Natalie’s growth in Isn’t It Romantic develops slowly, with her gaining confidence through personal friendships and success in her career. Admittedly, no romcom is complete without the main character falling in love with someone else, and Isn’t It Romantic develops the destined couple’s story flawlessly.

The main guy, Natalie’s fated sweetheart, is genuinely funny and cares for her. He gives her many longing looks that she fails to notice, and he simultaneously likes her exactly as she is while supporting her growth into a confident woman. Real chemistry is something many romcoms lack, but Isn’t It Romantic isn’t among those.

Along with the touching themes of self-love and growth, Isn’t It Romantic proudly lives up to the comedy part of the romcom. Natalie’s reaction to every strange event in this new world is realistically hysterical, and the creative bleeping out of all her cuss words sets the tone for her frustration.

My personal favorite running joke is the satire of the tiring trope of the GBF (gay best friend.) Isn’t It Romantic turns that trope, and every tiring romcom trope, on its head, with the GBF actually having a role in the story, not just serving as diversity points. The GBF isn’t the only satirized trope, Isn’t It Romantic has fun pointing out the especially sexist tropes of classic romantic comedies, including that women must rely on men for any kind of love.

Natalie’s journey to self-love helps not only her relationship with herself, but her relationship with others. She learns to take charge in her job, she stands up for herself when she’s been wronged and she finds true love with one of her best friends when she sees herself through his eyes.

Isn’t it Romantic is both heartbreaking and hilarious, and knows exactly when to dodge some tropes and lean in to others. This film is one of the few true to life romcoms I’ve seen, and it uses a fantasy world to show how perfect reality can sometimes be. Natalie learns that the only love she truly needs to be complete is self-love, and any other love is just a plus.