Junior Architect, Natalie (Rebel Wilson) hates romcoms and isn’t afraid to tell anyone just why she finds them so clichéd, predictable and unrealistic. After all she’s known since she was a child that the kinds of things that happen to girls in romantic comedies don’t happen to girls like her.
Natalie’s belief in herself and her worth is so low that she lets everyone from food cart owners to her colleagues push her around and she’s stuck designing car parks, living in a shit hole and being mistaken for an assistant by her clients.
So when Natalie is mugged and knocked out and wakes up in a romcom it seems like a living nightmare. Suddenly her handsome client, Blake (Liam Hemsworth) is obsessed with her. her former work wife, Whitney (Betty Gilpin) has become a bitter rival, her weird neighbour Donny (Brandon Scott Jones) is her gay best friend and her bestie, Josh (Adam Devine) has fallen for a supermodel/yoga ambassador (Priyanka Chopra). Also New York no longer stinks, her apartment is amazing and people keep breaking into dance routines.
At first Natalie rails against her new reality but she soon realises that she’ll have to submit to the formula if she’s ever going to make her way back to normal life.
I have such mixed feelings about this film. I loved Natalie as a character and everything she hates about rom coms is everything I hate about rom coms. I loved watching her point out all the ridiculous clichés and got a giggle out of the lot of the jokes. Rebel Wilson was literally born to play Natalie. She has great chemistry with Devine and Gilpin and watching Liam Hemsworth be a bit of a bimbo was also fun.
On the other hand there is a lot of problematic narrative [HERE BE SPOILERS]. Through the course of her experience in “romcom land” Natalie learns to love herself, which is awesome. The problem is that she only really recognises her value because men start to pay attention to her, which is not awesome. She also realises that Josh has a crush on her and decides to give a relationship between them a chance. This plays into the idea that women are obligated to date men because they are “nice guys”. There is no indication prior to the “romcom experience” that Natalie fancies Josh. I don’t buy into the idea that she has suddenly decided he is more than a friend. I feel like it would have been a much bigger “fuck you” to romcoms if Natalie had learned to love herself and just decided to explore her newfound badassery rather than needing a man to complete her inner transformation. It’s a huge missed opportunity, which meant that I was ultimately really disappointed.
This is cute, fun movie at face value but it could have been so much more.