There are two New York Cities, the real one and the moviefied one, and you might need to love both at least a little to fall for Todd Strauss-Schulson’s goofy-delightful Isn’t It Romantic. The movie opens and closes in a version of the real New York, a stinky, noisy collage of 99-cent stores and food carts adorned with jaunty photos telling you what a falafel looks like, of people walking every which-way, locked away in their own private earbud worlds. This New York is a place where it sometimes seems impossible to fall in love. But ah! The New York in the middle section is a fantasyland of dainty cupcake stores and brick townhouses half-obscured by lilacs crawling toward the sky. In the subway, the ubiquitous “If you see something, say something” poster has been replaced with one advocating friendly, flirty interhuman contact: “If you see someone, say something.” This is surely the place where love is meant to happen.
And maybe that’s where it’s supposed to happen for Natalie (Rebel Wilson), a junior architect toiling away at a firm that doesn’t appreciate her, a woman who, as a child enthralled by romantic reveries like Pretty Woman, was told by her mother that those kind of romantic dreams don’t come true for women like them. (Mom is played, as a frizzle-haired working-class straight-talker, by Jennifer Saunders, of Absolutely Fabulous.)
Natalie’s mother is right, in the sense that no one’s life can possibly play out as Julia Roberts’s does in Pretty Woman. But Isn’t It Romantic—note the telling, matter-of-fact absence of the question mark—meets in the halfway spot between realistic expectations and the sweet surprises life sometimes tosses our way. The picture is honest about human hopes and disappointments, even as it acknowledges—and offers—the pleasures of a good romantic comedy. Sometimes we may feel a little stupid for buying into, even just a little bit, the dreams they put onscreen for us. But who gets through life, or love, without ever feeling stupid? Isn’t It Romantic—written by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox and Katie Silberman, from a story by Cardillo—is, among other things, a riff on the fallacy of the guilty pleasure. There’s little enough pleasure in life; we have a right to enjoy anything that brings it our way, without apology.
Wilson, confident and vibrant, is a terrific romantic-comedy hero: While Natalie suffers from a few garden-variety insecurities, she’s not cutting herself down every …
Source:: Time – Entertainment