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Isn't It Romantic is a 2019 American satirical romantic comedy film directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson and written by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox, and Katie Silberman. The film stars Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam DeVine, and Priyanka Chopra, and follows a woman who, after getting hit on the head, wakes up in a world where everything around her plays out like a romantic comedy film. The film was released in the United States on February 13, 2019, by Warner Bros. Pictures, and will be released in international territories by Netflix on February 28, 2019.

Plot

The film opens sometime in the early 90's in Australia. Young Natalie is watching Pretty Woman and enjoying it until her mother comes in and tells her she shouldn't watch romantic comedies because women like her and Natalie don't get happy endings the way beautiful women like Julia Roberts do. This breaks Natalie's spirit and causes her to despise romantic comedies..

25 years later, Natalie works as an architect in New York City. She is kind of a pushover amongst her coworkers and is frequently viewed as (in her eyes, anyway) the coffee girl. Her only friends are Josh and Whitney, the latter being Natalie's assistant. They receive a new client, handsome billionaire Blake, and as Natalie goes to join them for a presentation, Blake mistakes Natalie's coffee for his, and her boss makes her go grab Blake a fresh one. Later, Natalie catches Whitney watching The Wedding Singer and crying. Natalie chastises her and goes on a cynical three-hour rant about why romantic comedies are hogwash and why they set bad examples with their cliches. Josh later tries to invite Natalie to hang out, but she rudely brushes him off, and Whitney tells Natalie that more people would notice her if she were more open.

Natalie takes the subway home when she sees a guy on the other train trying to get her attention. They meet up, and he appears friendly, but he then attacks Natalie and tries to take her bag. They fight for it, and she ends up disabling him, but as she runs away, Natalie runs face-first into a pole, knocking herself unconscious.

Natalie wakes up in a hospital and is greeted by a good-looking doctor who starts flirting with her. She is more unnerved than charmed, and she leaves after being discharged. When she walks out, she notices that New York looks and smells much nicer than usual. Natalie walks into the street and gets hit by Blake's limo. He is now Australian, more genial to her and he takes her home in a matter of seconds and leaves her his number by writing them on flower petals and then expecting Natalie to remember despite him giving them to her in a random order. She goes into her apartment and finds that it is larger, nicer, and that she owns a wide variety of shoes that fit her perfectly. Her dog is now also well-groomed and obedient. Also, her grumpy neighbor Donny is now a wildly flamboyant stereotypically gay best friend.

At work, Natalie finds that Whitney doesn't work for her and is now in competition with her. Everything just seems weirder to Natalie. She steps out for a walk with Josh, and as they go through the park, they see a woman choking. Josh goes to help her, and she turns out to be a gorgeous swimsuit model named Isabella, the same model from a billboard outside Natalie's office that she thinks Josh is always gawking at. There appears to be an instant spark between them, and they go out together, leaving Natalie alone. As she walks around by herself and randomly trips on things while strange handsome men compliment her, in addition to the random people dancing in the park, Natalie comes to the conclusion that she is in a PG-13 romantic comedy.

Natalie goes around trying to undo everything and knock herself unconscious again. This just creeps out other guys, and as Natalie attempts to step in front of a train, she is pulled back by a cop who is literally named Officer Hansom. He arrests her for having not paid her fare, and she uses her one phone call to contact Blake, and the petals magically align themselves properly so that Natalie can know the right way to call him. Blake picks her up, and Natalie figures that she has to get him to fall in love with her in order to get herself out of the rom-com world.

After doing an offscreen makeover montage with Donny, Natalie goes on a date with Blake. It goes well, ending with a romantic kiss in the middle of a city street. When the two go back to his place to get intimate, it immediately cuts to the next morning. Natalie tries two more times to have sex with Blake and actually experience it, but it keeps cutting over and jumping to the next day. Blake then tells Natalie that he loves her, but it doesn't change anything for her and she is still stuck in the rom-com.

Natalie is later visited by Josh with some Chinese food. The two laugh and joke together, actually having genuine chemistry. However, it gets ruined when Blake shows up and acts in a condescending manner to Josh, causing him to leave.

Natalie and Blake run into Josh and Isabella, and the latter two invite the former two to Isabella's place in the Hamptons for a party they are having. Natalie and Blake head up there, where Natalie and Josh take another stroll together, where Natalie realizes she is actually falling for Josh. This is ruined moments later when Josh and Isabella announce that this is actually their engagement party, and they are getting married the following day. Everyone then heads over to a nearby bar for karaoke. Natalie goes up to sing 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody', but a waitress accidentally unplugs the mic. Natalie keeps the song going and gets help from others, turning it into a full-blown musical number.

In the morning, Natalie wakes up and finds that Blake is trying to pass off her ideas as his own. He defends it by saying that she won't have to work when she's with him, but she likes being an architect and she breaks up with Blake. Upset, she goes to talk to Donny, who gives her some inspiring words based on his own personal experiences. Natalie then realizes that if she loves Josh, she has to go do the ultimate rom-com cliche of stopping a wedding in slow motion. Natalie gets to the church and gives a big speech to Josh, thinking she will admit she loves him after telling him why he should be with her instead, but she has come to realize that she loves herself, and that is the lesson she was supposed to learn. Natalie leaves the wedding and decides to steal the brand new car Josh and Isabella would have driven, but she is distracted and drives head-first into a wall.

Natalie wakes up in another hospital and sees that the doctor there is also handsome, and she fears she is still stuck in the rom-com world. However, the real doctor (an older man) comes in and makes the other guy leave, as he is just an actor preparing for a role. Natalie pulls a needle out of her arm and curses loudly in pain, which leads her to figure out she is back to her reality. She runs home and is happy to see her lousy apartment and lame dog. Outside, she finds that Donny actually is gay in real life, and that he is a weed dealer. She returns to work and reaffirms her friendship with Whitney, but makes it clear that she has to stop watching movies at work. She then goes to deliver a presentation to her boss and Blake for a parking garage for a hotel that Blake is set to open. He likes Natalie's pitch, and it appears that the boss does too. Natalie then goes over to Josh's cubicle and tells him he shouldn't live in a fantasy staring at the billboard of Isabella. Josh then has Natalie sit in his chair to make it clear to her that he does not even have a full view of the billboard, and instead he was always looking at Natalie. She is touched, and the two kiss.

Natalie walks out for coffee, and she is greeted downstairs with Whitney, who points out that now that she has made it to her dream job and has a guy who worships her, it's almost like she is in an actual romantic comedy. Natalie scoffs at the idea and says that all that needs to happen is a musical number.

The film then cuts to the credits where the cast perform a musical number.

Cast

  • Rebel Wilson as Natalie
  • Liam Hemsworth as Blake
  • Adam DeVine as Josh
  • Priyanka Chopra as Isabella
  • Betty Gilpin as Whitney
  • Brandon Scott Jones as Donny
  • Tom Ellis as Dr. Todd
  • Jennifer Saunders as Natalie's mother
  • Jay Oakerson as Gary

Production

On May 23, 2016, it was reported that Rebel Wilson would be starring as Natalie in an untitled romantic comedy film by New Line Cinema, from an original script by Erin Cardillo and rewrite by Dana Fox and Katie Silberman, while producers would be Todd Garner, Grant Scharbo, and Gina Matthews. On March 22, 2017, Todd Strauss-Schulson was hired to direct the film, titled Isn't It Romantic, while it was revealed that a latest draft of the script was done by Paula Pell. On May 10, Adam DeVine, who previously co-starred with Wilson in the first two Pitch Perfect movies, and Liam Hemsworth were cast in the film to play love interests in Natalie's life. Priyanka Chopra was also cast in the film in May. On June 14, 2017, Betty Gilpin was cast in the film to play the Natalie's assistant Whitney, and one of her best friends.

Principal photography on the film began on July 10, 2017, in New York City.

Release

Theatrical release

Isn't It Romantic was released in the United States on February 13, 2019, by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Home media

Netflix

On January 30, 2019, it was announced that the film would be released internationally on February 28, 2019, by Netflix.

International premiere

Reception

Box office

In the United States and Canada, Isn't It Romantic was released alongside Happy Death Day 2U, and was projected to gross around $22 million from 3,300 theaters in its six-day opening weekend. After not holding Tuesday night previews, the film made $1.8 million on its first day and $4.4 million on Valentine's Day, for a two-day total of $6.2 million. It went on to debut to $14.2 million (a five-day gross of $20.4 million), finishing third at the box office. The film dropped 47% in its second weekend, making $7.5 million and finishing fifth.

Critical response

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 69% based on 120 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 6.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "It follows as many genre conventions as it mocks, but Isn't It Romantic is a feel-good rom-com with some satirical bite – and a star well-suited for both." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 60 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 3.5 out of 5 stars and a 50% "definite recommend".

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