Netflix’s most popular genre seems to be the kind of rom-com that rarely see the indie of a cinema in 2019. Isn’t It Romantic had the best or worst of both worlds in that it was a cinema release in the US, and was released straight to streaming elsewhere. Either way, Todd Strauss-Schulson’s spry and colourful comedy should find an audience. Dialing back from shrill performances in Pitch Perfect 3, Wilson plays Natalie, a New York girl who gets hit on the head and wakes up to find she’s in an all-singing , all dancing rom-com with Liam Hemsworth and Adam Devine as potential suitors, and all other details, including her gay best friend, as expected. Wilson has lots to do here, showing how Natalie switches from being down-trodden to the incredulous benefactor of a new reality that’s everything she dreamed of. Isn’t it Romantic? Isn’t saying anything new, but it’s a big step up from How To Be Single; Wilson doesn’t have to be the brunt of fat-joke stereotypes anymore, if she ever did, and takes a giant step forward here.
One of the few 1970’s evocations of screwball comedy to hit the mark, Warren Beatty stars as sax-loving athlete Joe Pendleton, whose US football career is cut short by a fatal accident. Rejected in heaven has having arrived before his time, Pendleton is sent back to earth to inhabit the body of a millionaire, under the watchful eye of the angelic Mr Jordan (James Mason). A likable romance with Betty (Julie Christie) ensues, leading to a bittersweet but remarkably romantic ending. Collaborating with Buck Henry on direction and Elaine May on the script, Beatty fashions a winning role for himself in this light, bright comedy from 1978.