PG-13 Dir: Todd Strauss-Schulson | Warner | 1h 29min
Plot: What’s it about?
There are two things I’ve never quite seen the appeal of: Rebel Wilson and the romantic comedy genre. Ok, maybe a little more with the latter. But, I don’t know, to me it seems that Rebel Wilson seems to be the UK version of Melissa McCarthy? Am I totally off base with my assessment? Granted, she was entertaining in the Pitch Perfect films, but she just seems like a one-trick pony. Then again she’s a moviestar and I’m writing sardonic comments about one of her movies on Blu-ray. Maybe I should get off my high horse? Still, the fact remains that we’ve got an actress that I don’t “get” in a genre that’s somewhat tired and trite. I doubt that romantic comedies will go anywhere anytime soon, but seeing as how I received this title in May, I’m going out on a limb and will now look at the IMDb to see when the release date was (dollars to donuts it was around Valentine’s Day). Be right back. OK, I see the release date was Feb. 13. Wow, I’m good.
Wilson plays Natalie whom we meet as a girl watching Pretty Woman (the king of all romantic comedies). Flash forward to the present and Natalie is now a junior architect in Manhattan with the usual single-girl woes. Her firm’s new client, Blake (Liam Hemsworth) treats her like an admit and unbeknownst to Natalie her colleague Josh (Adam Devine) is smitten with her. Things change for Natalie when she’s mugged at a subway hitting her head. Waking up in a hospital room, her world has now inexplicitly changed. You guessed it, her life is literally a romantic comedy. Her surly next door neighbor is now the supportive gay best friend, her street now has rows of coffee shops and flower stores and so forth. Her work life is different as well with Blake now fawning over her, her best pal Whitney (Betty Gilpin) is now a rival and Josh is with a “yoga ambassador” (Priyanka Chopra Jonas). Natalie’s dilemma, obviously, is to figure out how to exit this life and get back to her own.
I was reminded of two recent films when watching this. In I Feel Pretty Amy Schumer’s character was hit on the head making her believe she was irresistible. In They Came Together, Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler essentially satirize the romantic comedy genre. So by my logic, Isn’t it Romantic is a hybrid of these two movies. I’ve cracked the code. Truthfully, Isn’t it Romantic was a lot better than I figured it would be. I still don’t see the appeal of Rebel Wilson and I guess Amy Schumer might not have pulled off the part, but it’s at least different (read: not predictable), so I have to give them credit for that. The supporting cast deserves some props as well as they make the film work. Pretty Woman it’s not, but then again…it’s not supposed to be.
Video: How’s it look?
I’m sure it’s a placebo effect, but to me romantic comedies seem to have the most colorful palettes out there. And why not? They deal with love (or lack thereof) so all the Manhattan brownstones and office buildings look like they’re out of a magazine. Such is the case here and Warner’s 2.39:1 AVC HD image simply drips with every color of the rainbow. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the cover art (below). See? All the boxes are checked with detail, rich and vibrant color along with strong contrast, etc. It looks good folks, don’t think that it doesn’t. There’ll be nothing to complain about here unless you wished you looked more like Liam Hemsworth (this applies to men and women).
Audio: How’s it sound?
Likewise the included DTS HD Master Audio track has a few moments that really make it work, but by and large it’s a dialogue-driven film. Ok, maybe the karaoke scene does up the ante a tick or two, but aside from that it’s a front-heavy track that’s sure to please. Vocals are pure, surrounds are used sparingly but effectively and everything in between. I say this so often because it’s true: there’s really nothing to complain about here. You’ll be pleased.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Deleted Scenes – A handful are included. Given the film’s short running time (89 minutes), it might have made sense to put a few of these in. Oh well. Nevertheless, they’re here for your enjoyment if you so choose.
- I Wanna Dance! – A short, (under 5 minute) feature with the director and cast as they talk about the (in)famous karaoke scene in the film.
The Bottom Line
This one surprised me. I won’t call it one of the better films I’ve seen, but I do have to give credit where it’s due – it’s original (or at least it tries to be). I’m still scratching my head over Rebel Wilson’s casting, but apart from that I found it enjoyable enough. If you like romantic comedies and are looking for something that’s a bit over the top, yet believable at the same time – look no further. Warner’s disc looks and sounds good, though the supplements are a bit sparse.