Isn't It Romantic
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Don’t you just love love?
The endless flowers. The bold, romantic gestures. The late-night strolls through a perfect—wait. What?
That’s not love. At least, it’s not the kind Natalie is going to fall for. Having grown up with a cynical mother who was quick to destroy such flighty notions, Natalie is currently in “romantic comedy rehab.”
Sure, she used to swoon over those dreamy boys on the screen. But she’s come to realize that real life is nothing like the movies. And love, well, if it exists, it's definitely not in the cards for her.
But those jaded attitudes are nothing that slamming headfirst into a pole and falling into a coma can’t fix.
And when Natalie wakes up, she realizes she’s been transported into her nightmare: a real-life romantic comedy. The flowers are bright, New York constantly smells like lavender, and guys see her. Like, they actually recognize she exists.
Well, her best friend, Josh, has always recognized her. But he’s just a friend. Right? And who cares about Josh when she has a drop-dead gorgeous millionaire by her side?
It all seems perfect.
But every romantic comedy has a twist, right. So here's the one Natalie faces: If she wants to get out of the gushy story she's now trapped in, she’s going to have to learn what “true love” really means.
For all of Natalie’s flaws and insecurities, she's still a kind-hearted woman at her core. She serves others without complaint (though sometimes at her own expense); she's mindful of others’ needs; and she's intelligent and creative. Eventually, she learns to love herself and to enforce healthy boundaries.
Natalie's best friend, Josh, is sweet and thoughtful. He constantly encourages Natalie to recognize her true gifts and talents, and to realize that she is beautiful and talented. And even when he's discouraged, Josh looks out for Natalie.
Other good messages here include learning to express your feelings in healthy ways, believing in yourself, embracing positive self-talk and fostering relationships that go beyond the surface.
Elsewhere, friends try to encourage Natalie when needed. And a man rescues a choking woman.
A guy says he’d like to turn water into wine, just like Jesus. We also hear passing references to Buddhism and a palm reader.
Natalie is seen in bed (completely clothed), presumably after having sex. She attempts to lure the guy she's with back into bed multiple times, because she can’t remember doing anything. But each attempt then flashes to the next morning. Natalie is frustrated by the process before she realizes that she keeps skipping through the details of these sex scenes because she's trapped in a “PG-13 movie.”
As a young girl, Natalie watches the movie Pretty Woman, specifically the scene where Julia Roberts' prostitute character is in a bathtub (though covered by bubbles). While running, Natalie grabs her breasts for support.
Men and women hug, kiss, flirt, make out and comment on one another’s physical appearance. Multiple jokes verbally reference sex (both homosexual and heterosexual), “coming out,” nudity, fertility procedures, male genitalia, sexually transmitted diseases and bodily fluids. A man pretends to have an orgasm while eating (recalling a similar scene from the rom-com When Harry Met Sally).
Two men are shown kissing (once in person, as well as on a billboard). A woman sends her friend a sexually suggestive GIF. Women wear revealing outfits and cleavage-baring tops. A poster of a swimsuit model hangs in an office. Men are seen shirtless, and one man is wrapped in nothing but a towel.
A man attempts to mug Natalie. She’s thrown to the ground and hits her head on a pole. (She later wonders if she’s died.) A woman gets into a car crash. A man is punched in the crotch. A woman attempts to stop a food cart with her body. Someone trips and falls multiple times. One character rips off a bandage, causing blood to squirt onto a doctor's face. A guy pretends to shoot someone with an air gun.
Crude or Profane Language
God’s name is misused more than 20 times, occasionally paired with “d--n.” Jesus' name is abused once. The f-word is bleeped out more than 10 times; we hear it fully pronounced once. The s-word is used about 10 times. Other profanity includes multiple uses of “b--ch,” “d--n,” “h---” and “crap.” A woman tells a man to “p-ss off.” Name-calling includes “whore” and “idiot.” We hear a slang reference to the male anatomy. Characters use crude hand gestures.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Natalie lives next door to a drug dealer who, we hear, helps many visitors in search of marijuana. Men and women consume beer, wine and champagne, and take shots of hard liquor. A woman jokes about someone using Prozac.
Other Negative Elements
As a young child, Natalie’s mother discouraged her from watching romantic movies, telling her that women “like them” would never have a happy ending. Because of that formative influence, Natalie has extremely low self-esteem, and she doesn't realize how much many people value who she is. Before hitting her head, she is a pushover, a pessimist and a cynic who believes herself to be functionally invisible to almost everyone in her world.
A man steals something valuable from his girlfriend. A woman is rude to a colleague. Another woman tries to ruin her friend’s wedding. A couple jokes about getting arrested after they break into an ice cream shop.
A dog defecates on a rug. A man belches. Someone cracks a joke about muscular dystrophy. We see two women on toilets (from the shoulders up).
Have you ever heard someone say that you can’t love others well until you learn to love yourself? Isn't It Romantic unpacks that idea through Natalie's story.
Natalie has struggled to understand what love really means for her entire life. As a young girl, she filled her head with dreams of the fairy-tale variety she saw on the big screen. And she would have believed it, had her mother not told her that “girls like us” never find love like that.
But it wasn’t just those discouraging words that filled Natalie with cynicism. It was her perception that she could never deserve love.
What a lie. We have all been created by the Author of love to give and receive love freely. But that can be a difficult concept to grasp—especially when influences such as the ones Natalie has had tempt us to harden and close off our hearts.
Isn't It Romantic tries to get at some important messages about love. We hear, for instance, “There’s no being more worthy of love than yourself.” That's something we all need to be reminded of from time to time. Unfortunately, this satirical rom-com's occasional redemptive moments are frequently undermined by its raunchy ones.
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Rebel Wilson as Natalie; Priyanka Chopra as Isabella; Liam Hemsworth as Blake; Betty Gilpin as Whitney; Adam Devine as Josh; Brandon Scott Jones as Donny
Todd Strauss-Schulson ( )
February 13, 2019
May 21, 2019