Meta-genre film comedies aren’t exactly anything new, nor is the “character realizes they’re in a film genre” brand of movie, but Isn’t It Romantic has something going for it that most others don’t—it’s tackling romantic comedies. Unlike say, the horror genre, which has no wealth of classic meta-movies on a “wink gradient” from Scream to Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon to The Final Girls, satire of romantic comedies hasn’t been nearly as widely explored. Perhaps this is because romantic comedy itself had almost become an endangered species as far as genres are concerned in recent years, at least until the arrival of Crazy Rich Asians breathed new life into boy-meets-girl. Now, it seems like Isn’t It Romantic is planning on capitalizing, and the trailer below is a great start.
Rebel Wilson is playing Natalie, a down-on-her luck girl who is jaded about love, especially in the way love is depicted in romantic films. However, after a bump on the head, “Natalie wakes up one day to discover that she is self aware of her existence in a rom-com and tries to escape every cliche.”
This is a high-concept premise that could be handled well or extremely poorly, but we’re leaning toward “well” at the moment. It’s sort of delightful to see Natalie’s realization that she’s in a PG-13 romantic comedy in particular, which means not only can she not swear (the universe will literally find ways to bleep her); she also apparently can’t hook up with a chiseled Liam Hemsworth without the universe jumping forward through what would otherwise be a hard-R sex scene. There’s a whole lot of potential ways to exploit the do’s and do-nots of a romantic comedy made with mass appeal (and sterile character development) in mind. Let’s just hope the “gay best friend” character manages the deft task of satirizing poor parts given to LGBTQ actors with some degree of insightfulness.
But you can’t help but chuckle at the line, “this isn’t an emergency room, this is a Williams Sonoma,” right?
Isn’t It Ironic also stars Liam Hemsworth, Adam DeVine, Priyanka Chopra and Betty Gilpin (of G.L.O.W.!). It’s scheduled to hit theaters on Valentine’s Day, 2014 … naturally.