Todd Strauss-Schulson directed A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas and The Final Girls before taking on this comedy, which both pokes fun and celebrates the romantic comedies that we either love, hate or love to hate. There’s a great crew along for the ride, so I didn’t put up much of a fight with this choice by my wife.
When Natalie (Rebel Wilson) was a young girl growing up in Australia, her mother (Jennifer Saunders!) told her that movies like Pretty Woman were BS and that girls like her don’t get happy endings. She’s kept that message in her mind as she grows up and moves to NYC to become an architect. It’s also given her low self-esteem, making her take guff from everyone in her office and unable to see that her friend Josh (Adam DeVine) wants to be way more than a best friend.
That’s life until she’s knocked out fighting a mugger and wakes up to an alternate world where every single cliche of romcoms becomes true. Her best friend has now become her office enemy. Her client is now in love with her. And even Josh has found who he thinks is his soulmate, a combination swimsuit model/yoga ambassador.
Schulson has said that the idea of this film came from how romcoms really do lie to their viewers. “Are they helpful or hurtful? Does it lead to more isolation? This idea that you aren’t whole until someone comes to save you.” In truth, this movie is about falling in love with yourself before you can give love to anyone else, which is about the best message I’ve seen in a movie in forever.
Look, this isn’t going to blow your mind or replace any of your favorite movies. That said, it is a fun little movie and has some nice production values, particularly in how it separates the real world from the romantic one.