In Australia, during the early 1990s, a young Natalie watches the romantic comedy Pretty Woman, during which her mother crushes her spirit and enthusiasm by telling her that women like that do not get happy endings in real life. Twenty-five years later, Natalie is working as an architect in New York City. She has low self-esteem and is treated as a pushover by her colleagues and a new client named Blake, a handsome billionaire, who mistakes her for an assistant during a key meeting. She rebuffs her best friend Josh after he invites her to a karaoke bar and chastises her friend and assistant, Whitney (after catching her watching the romantic comedy The Wedding Singerin the office), cynically ranting about romantic comedies and their cliches.
On her way home from the office, Natalie is accosted by a mugger on the subway. After a struggle in which she ultimately repels her attacker, she knocks herself unconscious by clumsily walking head-first into a steel girder. When Natalie wakes up, she finds herself in a hospital and is greeted by an attractive doctor, who immediately starts flirting with her. Unnerved and confused, Natalie walks outside and notices New York now looks and smells much better than it usually does. She is nearly run over in the street by a limousine, out of which steps an apologetic, genial version of Blake, who is now speaking with an Australian accent. Blake drops her off at home and, before leaving, writes his phone number on flower petals, which he then dumps haphazardly into her upturned hat.
Still confused, Natalie enters her apartment, which she finds to be much larger and nicer than before. Her previously-unruly dog is now well-groomed and obedient, her closet is stocked with a dizzying array of shoes, and her grumpy neighbor Donny (who mysteriously appears in her apartment) is now behaving flamboyantly, seemingly become her stereotypical gay best friend. At work, everyone is behaving nicely with her, except for her former assistant, Whitney, who is now her rival. Still flummoxed by all the changes, Natalie goes for a walk with Josh. As they go through the park, Josh helps a choking woman who turns out to be a gorgeous swimsuit model and “yoga ambassador” named Isabella. There appears to be an instant spark between the two, and they go for a drink together, leaving Natalie alone. As she walks by herself, Natalie notices more strange changes (including ambient sounds that conveniently censor her cursing), and she finally realizes that she’s stuck in a PG-13 romantic comedy.
Natalie then sets out to undo everything, thinking that if she can re-create the circumstances that led to her being knocked unconscious, she can return to her previous life. She finds the mugger on the subway platform again, but he runs away from her. As she is about to step off the platform into the path of an approaching subway train, she’s pulled aside at the last moment by an “Officer Hansom.” When she cynically asks if he is saving her life, he replies that he’s arresting her for having jumped (and fallen over) the turnstile earlier. At the police station, they will not allow Natalie to use her phone to make her one phone call, and as she has none of her friends’ or co-workers’ numbers memorized, she resorts to tossing the petals containing Blake’s number into the air, and they fall in the correct order. She calls Blake, who picks her up, and Natalie, thinking that she can end her imprisonment in the rom-com by ‘getting the guy’ (Blake), accepts Blake’s invitation to dinner.
Following an off-screen makeover montage with Donny, Natalie goes on a lovely date with Blake on his yacht, a date which ends with a romantic kiss in the rain in the middle of the street. Much to Natalie’s disappointment, they are unable to actually sleep together (due to the PG-13 rating), and Natalie is further distraught when nothing changes after Blake tells her that he loves her. After an awkward encounter between Josh and Blake in her apartment, Natalie and Blake run into Josh and Isabella the next day, and they are invited to Isabella’s place in the Hampton’s for a party. At the party, Natalie realizes she actually loves Josh just before Josh and Isabella’s engagement is announced.
After a night at a karaoke bar, during which Natalie sings and tries wooing Josh away from Isabella, Natalie wakes up and finds Blake trying to pass off her ideas as his own to his father on the phone. Natalie breaks up with him and runs to stop Josh’s wedding. While giving a dramatic speech in the chapel, she realizes that what she really needed all along was not the love of her ‘soul mate,’ but just to love herself. She leaves the ceremony and steals the couple’s wedding car, which is parked outside. Just as she’s keen on starting her life anew, she crashes the car into an obstacle and is knocked unconscious.
Natalie wakes up in a hospital again and is told by a dour doctor that she was in an induced coma for 18 hours. She happily discovers that she is back in her reality. With her newly-discovered self-esteem, Natalie returns to work and delivers a presentation to Blake, who likes Natalie’s pitch. Natalie then apologizes to Josh, he reveals that he’s been interested in her all along, and the two kiss. The film ends with a large dance number in the streets of New York with Natalie singing about love.
Genres: Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
Release Date: 13 February 2019 (USA)
- Rebel Wilson as Natalie, an Australian architect living in New York.
- Liam Hemsworth as Blake, a client and one of two potential love interests in Natalie’s life.
- Adam DeVine as Josh, Natalie’s best friend and one of two potential love interests in Natalie’s life.
- Priyanka Chopra as Isabella, a yoga ambassador.
- Betty Gilpin as Whitney, Natalie’s assistant and one of her best friends (and nemesis in the rom-com world).
- Brandon Scott Jones as Donny, Natalie’s neighbor and friend.
- Tom Ellis as Dr. Todd
- Jennifer Saunders as Natalie’s mother.
- Jay Oakerson as Gary
In the United States and Canada, Isn’t It Romantic was released alongside Happy Death Day 2U, and was projected to gross around $22 million from 3,300 theaters in its six-day opening weekend.After not holding Tuesday night previews, the film made $1.8 million on its first day, Wednesday, and $4.4 million on Valentine’s Day, for a two-day total of $6.2 million. It went on to debut to $14.2 million over the weekend (a five-day gross of $20.4 million), finishing third at the box office. The film dropped 47% in its second weekend, making $7.5 million and finishing fifth.
Last score update: 3/14/19