Follow TV Tropes


Film / Isn't It Romantic

Go To
Natalie's life has become a romantic comedy. And she hates every minute of it.

Isn't It Romantic is a 2019 Romantic Comedy starring Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine and Priyanka Chopra.

Natalie (Wilson) is a woman disenchanted by love, who, after getting knocked unconscious, finds herself in a rom-com and she's the leading lady! Although she despises romantic comedies and the implications that come with them, she figures that she has to get to the end of the rom-com to escape it — which means getting someone to fall in love with her. She turns her sights on rich asshole Blake (Hemsworth), who is smitten with her in the rom-com world, and confides in Josh (Devine), one of her closest friends who, thankfully, seems largely unchanged...

This film is also a Deconstruction of tropes, characters, narrative styles and imagery of romantic comedies.


  • A Cappella: When a waitress accidentally knocks the cord out on the karaoke machine, Natalie is forced to sing this way.
  • Accidental Hand-Hold: Josh and Natalie both grab for the same item, sparking in Natalie the realisation that she might have feelings for him.
  • Adventures in Comaland: Natalie is stuck in a romantic comedy while she's in a medically induced coma for 18 hours in real life.
  • Affectionate Parody: Lovingly makes fun of rom-coms.
  • All Just a Dream: Natalie was in an 18-hour coma, during which she imagined that she was in a rom-com.
  • Alpha Bitch: In the alternative universe, Whitney becomes this to Natalie.
  • Always Someone Better: Natalie believes everyone to be this to her, due to her low self-esteem.
  • And You Were There: Natalie's friends and acquaintances are recast as romcom characters in her comatose fantasy. Isabella, in particular, is based on a billboard outside Natalie's office window she enviously compares herself to, because she believes Josh stares at it all day, without realizing he's looking at her.
  • Beta Couple: Josh and Isabella become a couple, but are on the background in comparison to Natalie and Blake. Josh and Isabella's wedding becomes the climax of the film.
  • Betty and Veronica: Both love triangles in the rom-com fantasy have a set-up like this; even lampshaded when Josh mentions to Natalie that he never thought they would end up in relationships with such rich, beautiful people.
    • In the Josh-Natalie-Blake triangle, Blake is the wealthy, persistent, stranger Veronica to Josh's loyal, normal, longtime friend Betty.
    • In the Natalie-Josh-Isabella triangle, Natalie is the normal longtime friend Betty to the model-beautiful Isabella's rich, haughty Veronica.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Even when Natalie is meant to be “unkempt”, she’s still gorgeous, and has two guys tailing after her in the romcom world. After all, she is played by Rebel Wilson!
  • The Big Damn Kiss:
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Blake is noted to be well-endowed.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Natalie, Isabella and Whitney, respectively.
  • Camp Gay: Donnie in the romcom universe, played up due to the mocking nature of the film. Normally, he's more of a Straight Gay.
  • Career Versus Man: Natalie breaks up with Blake after the latter steals her idea and tries to cover it up by saying that she won't need to work when they're together. Natalie, however, loves her job.
  • Caught in the Rain: Natalie and Blake kiss passionately while it's raining.
  • Character Narrator: Natalie suddenly overhears herself narrating her own thoughts.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: Everything that Natalie hates about rom-coms, which she tells Whitney, happens.
  • Cliché Storm: Deliberately invoked and Played for Laughs. Nat lampshades every single romcom trope in the book in a three-minute rant early on and every single one of them occurs in the romcom she finds herself in. Even the soundtrack reflects this.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Per "bad romcom" rules, Isabella is this over Josh and Natalie’s friendship, as she views Natalie as a threat to her relationship with Josh.
  • Comical Overreacting: The moment Natalie realises...
    Natalie: My life’s become a motherbeep romantic comedy! AND IT’S BEEPING PG-13!!!
  • Costume Porn: All the clothes transform into bright, stunning pieces.
  • Cry into Chest: Natalie freaks out that she’s going crazy, and while Josh hugs her to calm her down, she gets teary.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Natalie. It’s somewhat of a running gag. While it's awkward in real life, it just becomes cute when in a rom-com.
  • Dance of Romance: Josh and Natalie dance in sync together.
  • Dance Party Ending: "All I need is a cheesy musical number."
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The movie cheerfully mocks all the stupid aspects of rom-coms, but at the same time it is a rom-com, and has the same core message that Whitney ascribes to the genre at the start of the movie: that you, yes you, can find true love and have a great life as long as you don't give up on yourself.
  • Derailing Love Interests: In the romcom world. After spending the whole time seemingly being a Prince Charming-type who woos Natalie, Blake later steals her plans, which makes her dump him.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number: The film closes on a spectacular song-and-dance number.
  • Extreme Doormat: Natalie is an unusual example, since she's a tough-talking cynic who seems like she's not about to take any crap from anyone... but whenever someone pushes, she inevitably gives in. She gets better in the end, though.
  • 555: When Natalie scatters Blake's flower petals on the floor, each with a telephone-number digit written on it, they naturally form a number that has this.
  • Flat Character: Parodied. Every character in the rom-com world other than Natalie and Josh are shallow caricatures that barely seem to exist outside of embodying some stereotype.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: Josh and Isabella prepare to get married after knowing each other for a few days.
  • Freudian Excuse: The movie frames Natalie's hatred of romcoms to have started when her mother told her that it would never happen to girls like her.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Parodied. In the real world, Natalie lives in a cramped apartment that is realistic for a New York architect. In the romcom world, her job is now a wellpaying Rom Com Job and her apartment is spacious and lavish.
  • Gainax Ending: Back in the real world, after putting her life back on track, Natalie realizes she is in a romantic comedy and goes into a musical number joined by everyone else from the film in the streets of New York. Plus, Donnie is now acting like his alternate universe self.
  • Gay Best Friend: Reconstruction with Donny in the romcom world (but not in the real world, where he is firmly Natalie's apathetic Straight Gay neighbor). As a gay best friend he has no life or character besides supporting Natalie's love life...until the end when he explains that his flamboyance is the result of building up his self-confidence following a bad relationship, and he wants Natalie to love herself too.
    Natalie: He's setting gay rights back like a 100 years.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Subverted. It isn’t what Natalie or Josh do, but the fact that they’ve been there all along for each other.
  • Hatedom: In-Universe, Natalie is a one-woman hatedom. As Whitney dryly points out, for someone who hates rom-coms she's certainly spent a lot of time thinking about them.
  • Hug and Comment: After playfully touching Josh, Natalie comments on how fit he is.
  • Hunk: Blake is ripped, and described as extremely attractive ("CW hot").
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Played with. Natalie complains that a guy like Blake would never notice her. However, she also apparently can't imagine any guy noticing her. She's wrong about that part, in both worlds.
  • "I Want" Song: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” slowly turns into this, as Natalie realizes that she also wants love.
  • Just Friends: Natalie feels this way about Josh, at least initially.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Played with. When Natalie realizes that she's in love with Josh, but both of them are with other partners, she comments that "maybe we should switch". Everyone clearly expects that to be a joke, but she just stares with a completely straight face, until Josh suggests that she's just joking.
  • Karaoke Bonding Scene: Parodied when Natalie is asked to do karaoke at her good friend and potential love interest Josh's pre-wedding party. She starts out pitchy and unsure, but slowly gains confidence, backup dancers, and instrumentation; her rendition of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" involves the entire bar and turns into an "I Want" Song about how she actually wants love. Note that this is parodied as the whole thing occurs in Natalie's comatose fantasy about her life as a romantic comedy; she herself is in awe at how it escalated into a Crowd Song.
  • Lady in Red: Natalie is wearing a body hugging dress with peplum in a bright red during the musical sequence.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Natalie is aware that she's stuck in a PG-13 rom-com and comments on every unrealistic aspect as it comes up.
  • Longing Look: Josh gives Natalie lots of missed gazes.
  • Love at First Sight: Isabella and Josh stare into each other’s eyes and are head-over-heels.
  • Love Epiphany: Natalie realizes she loves Josh and tries to stop his wedding. However, she doesn't "break the curse" until she becomes comfortable with loving and accepting herself.
  • Love Is in the Air: After Natalie wakes up, she finds herself in love with a guy, after being sworn off from guys.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Natalie has two guys in love with her, Josh and Blake.
    • This then gets flipped, with Natalie and Isabella trying to win over Josh.
  • Maiden Name Debate: Blake not only wants her to change her last name, but also her first name because "it doesn't work in my circle" and suggests Georgina. This is the final straw in their relationship.
  • Meet Cute: But of course.
    • Josh namedrops this trope at the beginning, when Natalie interrupts two minor characters about to have one in the park.
    • Blake and Natalie meet note  when she almost gets run over by his limo.
    • Josh and Isabella meet when he notices her choking and does the Heimlich on her.
    • Subverted with Natalie and Officer Hansom. He saves her from throwing herself in front of a train and it looks like this, but it turns out that he only did it so he can arrest her for entering the subway without paying for a ticket.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The film opens with a young Natalie watching Pretty Woman.
  • Moment Killer: Two people have a Meet Cute in the park and Natalie obliviously plows her way between them on her way to work. Josh calls her out for disrupting the moment, but it's actually subverted since they're continuing their conversation in the background.
  • No Fourth Wall: Natalie is the only character aware that she is in a movie.
  • Oblivious to Love: Natalie fails to realise that Josh is in love with her.
  • Oh, Crap!: Natalie thinks she's still trapped in the rom-com world when she wakes up to another hunky doctor. Thankfully, he's just an actor, and the real doctor comes in to talk to her.
  • Old Fashioned Row Boat Date: The park is full of them when she and Josh goes for a walk there in the romcom world.
  • One Head Taller: Blake to Natalie.
  • The Only One I Trust: Natalie talks to Josh about some things in the rom-com world, but considering that he’s a leading man now, she can’t tell him everything. Luckily, her gay best friend Donny fulfills that role.
  • Pink Is Feminine: In the final musical sequence, Whitney and Isabela both wear pink (albeit in different shades and styles).
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Parodied In-Universe. One of the reasons Natalie thinks Josh and "Iz" should not get together is that the relationship would have to be called "Jiz."
  • Precision F-Strike: The way Natalie realizes that she's returned to her normal life is when she can shout the F word without it being drowned out by a random loud noise.
  • Pull the I.V.: Played with; an early, subtle sign Natalie is in a Rom Com is when she rips out her IV and it's like it was merely taped on. When she wakes up in reality and tries the same thing she winds up with a spurting hole in her arm.
  • Race for Your Love: Of course. And it’s in slow motion!
  • The Reveal: Natalie learns in the end that Josh wasn't staring at a billboard model, but Natalie herself all along.
  • Rom Com Job: Natalie is an architect, a role ordinarily reserved for a male lead. In the real world she's treated with little respect and works in a frumpy office setting that affords her only a small, run-down apartment, but after hitting her head she finds herself in a modern, high-tech office, with her apartment not only roomy but full of expensive clothing.
  • Running Gag: Loads.
    • Natalie consistently getting hit by something.
    • Swear words being drowned out by a noise.
    • "A Thousand Miles" playing.
    • "Beguiling".
  • Scenery Porn: The rom-com world is filled with bright colours, and flowers in every place.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Actually keeps Natalie from having sex since every time she starts, this happens and she wakes up the next morning.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Natalie and Whitney, who are made up to look dowdy (think early season Pam Beesly), but in the rom-com universe they are clearly beautifully made up and attractive as their actresses Rebel Wilson and Betty Gilpin.
  • Shirtless Scene: Blake, after spending the night with Natalie, walks out of the bathroom with only a towel wrapped around his waist.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Natalie is grossed out with the way Josh and Isabella are all up in each other.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: What happens every time Natalie tries to swear in the rom-com world due to its PG-13 rating.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: Twice. Lampshaded during the karaoke scene, but played straight at the end of the movie.
  • Pet Homosexual: Natalie suddenly finds herself with a gay sidekick. She's not amused.
  • Straight Gay: Donny's real life counterpart, who proceeds to mock the entire Camp Gay stereotype with his partner when Natalie expresses surprise at his sexuality.
  • Summon Backup Dancers: True to form, three women randomly appear behind Natalie and dance.
  • True Blue Femininity: Whitney is seen wearing a lot of blue in the real world in the first part of the movie, along with her pink pussy blow blouse has light blue florals, this is meant to contrast with her Alpha Bitch persona who wears black power suits.
  • Wakeup Makeup: A fact of life in the rom-com world, of course.
  • Wrong Guy First: Coma Blake turns out to be a jerk who doesn't truly love Natalie, but Josh does.