Isn’t It Romantic (now on Netflix)
Starring Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra
Directed by Tod-Strauss Schulson
Rating: *(1 star)
First things first. What is Priyanka Chopra doing playing a frisky floozie in this bird-turd of a film? Second question: why are we expected to invest 90 minutes in what looks like a rejected episode of Inside Amy Schumer?
Isn’t It Romantic is just plainly and simply awful.A birdbrained plot ,it casts the overweight Rebel Wilson as Natalie who is shown as incurably romantic in her childhood(she watches Pretty Woman like a Delhi housewife eyeing the lead singer at a Mata jagaran).Mom lectures little Natalie on the impossibility of romantic love in this cynical world.And voila! Beti is transformed into a diehard cynic.
Or is she just running away from the fact that when you are Size XL, the chances of finding an eligible match are proportionally slim?
So the film has a solution. It turns all romantic notions on their head when Natalie hits her head in a steel pillar a metro station during a mugging session(this is as exciting as the script gets) and waltzes into woozie-land. Alas ,the purportedly wonderful walk into wonderland is more bland than grand.
The flimsy anorexic film ends up celebrating rather than spoofing the conventions of the romcom genre.Natalie’s gay neighbour(Brandon Scott Jones) goes all flabby-wristed and hip-twisted , only to tell us at the end that gay men don’t behave that way in real life.
I would happily relegate this nondescript trivia of a movie to the trashcan were it not for our Priyanka Chopra who plays a femme fatale all set to steal away our heroine Natalie’sbestfriend-and-potential boyfriend Josh(Adama Devine) who doesn’t really seem worth stealing.In what could be described as her most airheaded role of her career Priyanka plays Isabelle.Her job profile is selfdescribed as “yoga ambassador”(whatever that means). But she seems to spend all her time posing preening pouting and seducing Josh, who , as mentioned earlier, is no Don Juan.
With a role that is briefer than the clothes she is given to wear(femme fatales must dress skimpily in our films) Priyanka must have a good reason for doing this film. We don’t know what it is. A fat paycheque , with a leading lady to match? Clueless as we are about her reasons for being in a film where her role is what Aroona Irani played in Hindi films of the 1970s, there is the comfort of company for Ms Chopra in Chris Hemsworth whose presence here is even more baffling . He plays a jerk in a towel who has to pretend he finds the hefty heroine attractive.
Perhaps both Chopra and Hemsworth got bitten by the same romcom bug that bites Rebel Wilson. No no that mark on her neck is not a love byte. With a plot that could be written on one grain of rice(Basmati) , characters who think it’s cool to pretend they love to hate onscreen romance, and performances which may strongly qualify for the Razberries, Isn’t It Romantic is right up there with Priyanka Chopra’s desi classics Suneel Darshan’s Andaz,Dharmesh Darshan’s Aap Ki Khatir and of course her Hollywood debut Baywatch.