IF Review

With spring finally in full bloom here in the UK, it's time for a May half-term movie. This year's pre-summer hit is IF (Directed by John Krasinski). I'll admit they first time I heard the title of this film, I initially concluded it was a horror film, but IF actually stands for Imaginary Friend and it is certainly not a horror film - what a relief! Thanks to Paramount Pictures UK I attended a preview screening of IF over the weekend and cannot wait to share my review with you all. IF is a must watch at the cinema this spring, read on to see why in this spoiler free review. Check out my Disney Summer Watchlist HERE The narrative revolves around young teen girl Bea (Cailey Fleming), who is going through a pretty turbulent time when she suddenly crossing paths with an imaginary friend named Blossom (Voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge). Seeing Blossom leads to Bea meeting Cal (Ryan Reynolds) a man that lives in Bea's Grandmothers (Fiona Shaw) building, who is trying to re-home

Isn't It Romantic Review

Isn't It Romantic was finally released on Netflix in the UK today and I got up early to watch it. I've been waiting to see this film since I first saw the trailer and was upset when I saw that it would not be shown in UK cinemas and would instead head straight to Netflix. Normally I love watching films that go straight to Netflix however I do feel that this film would be a great cinema experience. Isn't It Romantic Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson falls under the Romantic Comedy genre however there is a twist. Keep reading to find out what I thought of this film. There will be spoilers!!!
The movie opens with a young Natalie watching Pretty Woman while the song by the same name plays, Natalie is clearly caught up in the romance of the film when her mother (played by Jennifer Saunders) burst her bubble. 25 years later Natalie (played by Rebel Wilson) is a romantic cynic working as an Architect in New York City. Natalie lives in a grim little apartment and lives on a realistic Brooklyn street, she works in a run down office and doesn't have any self worth. In a scene that would never happen in a run of the mill formula rom-com Natalie is mugged on the subway where she hits her head and wakes up in a romantic comedy. From the moment she wakes up and is greeted by dreamy Dr. Todd (Tom Ellis) we are transported in to a typical sanitized rom-com movie: Natalie now lives on a beautiful street, her apartment is huge, her office is light and airy and suddenly men everywhere are noticing her including Blake (Liam Hemsworth) who previously dismissed her with a glance. We are then taken on a journey through moments that come straight out of rom-com's we all know and love, there are three musical numbers the last of which had be shouting 'Yes' at the TV screen, there's even a love square? The movie ends with Natalie waking from a comer after discovering that she needs to love herself. Once Natalie wakes her friend Whitney (Played by Betty Gilpin) highlights that Natalie's life has become almost a real life rom-com, she has the job, she lives in New York and she has the man: Josh (Played by Adam Devin). Honestly I could detail the whole plot of this film! The characters are just as interesting as its plot and that is hard to find.

I cannot tell you how clever this film is! When Natalie is getting attacked on the subway there is a poster in the background that says  'INJURED? Call Today'. Then later after the head injury the same subway station has a subway map in the shape of a heart that has famous rom-com stars names on, the Injured poster has been changed to 'SMITTEN' with the two lawyers kissing and there is also a poster that says 'see SOMEONE say something you could become his wife today'! There is also mention of so many famous movies, clips from both Petty Woman and The Wedding Singer are shown, there is a nod to How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days - when Natalie rides on the back of her friend Donny's (Brandon Scott Jones) bike. There are mentions of the films 13 Going On 30 and Notting Hill and also moments that are straight of  films like The Wedding Planner and 27 Dresses. As a rom-com fan I loved all these little references. I feel like you could watch this film frame by frame and see so many Easter eggs.

The film takes so much from traditional rom-coms and opens your eyes to just how ridiculous they are - such as the romantic kiss taking place in the rain, the heroin running in slow motion to get the man, the morning after scene (the 3x repeat is hilarious), interrupting a wedding and the classic meet cutes. In another hint to classic rom-coms Natalie is completely blind to Josh liking her which is both obvious and adorable. Also every NYC scene seems to have the Empire State Building in the background, I mean every window from Natalie's apartment has the same city view - I've been to New York and trust me you cannot see the Empire State Building everywhere, it is little moments like this that make this movie so clever and funny, I love it!

The design of this film is incredible, from colour to camera movements to set to music this film has it all. I love a film that plays with camera movements and angles and Isn't It Romantic does this. In one scene there is a zoom out to show the first establishing shot of NYC, then there is this awesome overhead zoom out shot of Natalie and Blake kissing in the rain and my favourite shot of the movie is a 360 spin that takes us from day to night, the movement is beautiful and the change in light gave me Goosebumps. Now colour wise this film plays with the contrast between the dark and dull looking reality and the beautiful colourful rom-com world. Also there is a beautiful blue filter placed over the ice cream scene, which looks like something out of a 1980s movie. Set wise I want to know how much the fairy lights and flowers budget was because both were literally everywhere. Also her apartment in that Tiffany blue is the dream!! If I am honest the rom-com world is literally my dream world aesthetic, I mean cupcake shops and stands everywhere, bright colours, flowers, sparkle lights, clean streets, well dressed people - what more could a girl want? Well maybe singing birds. But we did get three amazing dance and musical numbers! Honestly Rebel Wilson, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra (who plays Yoga ambassador Isabella) and Liam Hemsworth perform these numbers so well, honestly their performances throughout had the right amount of comedy and seriousness which is a hard balance normally but works get in this film. Music wise this film has a good combination of pop hits and score, in one scene the music comes on for a makeover montage and its just so well timed that its hilarious  the only downside is Natalie refuses to do the montage and if your anything like me you love a great makeover montage.

One thing that really surprised me about this film was the feminist undertones. At the start of the film Natalie lectures Whitney about romantic comedies and how women should find love in things outside of men. This is because Natalie is so blind to love, the films true morel is revealed when Natalie realises that to break out of the rom-com she has to be able to love herself. I think self love and placing less importance on women happiness being a result of a man are great messages that are lacking in Hollywood films. Also the film picks up on the fact that women just don't seem to be friends with women in the workplace which is ridiculous. Moreover this film also highlights the poor way gay men are treated in rom-com films, reducing them to nothing more than a sidekick. In an already multilayer film these messages add a layer of deepness that is inspiring.

Overall I cannot recommend Isn't It Romantic more it is a great twist on the traditional Romantic Comedy genre. It is a combination of great acting, brilliant visuals, messages and musical numbers. This film is so full of little touches such as Natalie wearing makeup and looking perfect at all times even when she wakes up in hospital yet when she gets hit in the head she is not wearing makeup. This film has it all, Natalie's cynical attitude towards everything in the rom-com world, Blakes stupid cliché personally, Josh's funny guy next doorness and Isabella's goddess like persona. I guarantee you will not be bored while watching this movie, even though it is on Netflix I was not tempted to check my phone even once. This is a perfect feel good film that will have you watching it over and over. Go watch this film now!!!

Also: this film gave me major Pitch Perfect Fat Amy and Bumper feels.

Thank you for reading x

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