WHEN Netflix picks up a film to debut on the streaming site instead of a cinema release, this can sometimes be because the film is too niche or different to be successful at the box office.
It can also sometimes be because it is not very good.
However, in her first lead role, Rebel Wilson leads a fun and charming film that gently satirises the romantic comedy, while also providing all the warm and fuzzy feelings that make it such a well-loved genre.
Natalie (Wilson) works as an architect in New York, in a dingy office where she is treated as the coffee girl by most of her co-workers.
She catches her assistant and best friend Whitney (Betty Gilpin) watching The Wedding Singer at work and rants about how much she hates rom-coms because they set a bad example for women and give false expectations.
Then, after bumping her head, Natalie is transported into an alternative rom-com reality where everything and everyone is hyper-friendly and beautiful, and spontaneous musical numbers are the norm.
She figures to get back to her own reality she needs to follow the rom-com rules and get a man to fall in love with her.
At first, the rushed exposition means the jokes do not quite land, but the film hits its stride when it gets to the rom-com world where tropes are taken apart and made fun of, and every actor gets to show off their comedic chops.
Natalie’s very normal reactions to the nonsensical happenings around her are hilarious and relatable, aided by Wilson’s trademark laidback Aussie demeanour.
Liam Hemsworth, as the designated chiselled male of the film, also uses his own accent and it is a lot of fun to see Australians sounding like themselves in an American film.
Lovers of rom-coms will enjoy this twist on the genre, which satisfies those romance cravings and offers a great self-love message to boot.
Isn’t It Romantic
Directed by: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Starring: Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine
Rating: three and a half stars
Review by: Lucy Rutherford
Now streaming on Netflix