The new romantic comedy Isn’t It Romantic might parody the genre, but it also hints at a truth behind a detail to which Rebel Wilson’s character Natalie initially scoffs. Though arguably unrealistic, romantic comedies remind us of the magic surrounding us. Sure, we may see more of the dull, hard work the movies don’t show, but we do possess a hope to find what we seek. Those desires for romance and fulfillment come naturally, and we have the power to step forward and progress those goals (with some reflection and work of course). Ultimately, we see that life offers more than what we notice everyday.
Natalie wakes up in a romantic comedy where her surroundings seem too good to pass as real. She comments how New York no longer stinks and how it looks as thought it had a beauty filter over it. Flowers surround her as she walks the streets, and people look her in the eye because they notice her. These details can happen outside a romantic comedy. Maybe actual flower arrangements don’t adorn every doorway and table, but beauty exists around us; a stranger or even a loved one can reflect God’s face as they take the time to notice and listen to us. Sometimes a potential love or job we want might stand right in front of us, simply waiting for us to recognize it and step toward it. Looking through a positive lens of hope rather than one of disappointment allows that.
We all desire romance, and that doesn’t mean we live with our head in the clouds. Our hearts naturally long for intimacy, and we see proof of that beauty throughout the bible. Song of Songs expresses the more physical side, and numerous New Testament passages demonstrate the benefits of marriage union and community. Like Natalie eventually discovers in Isn’t It Romantic, we can accept these desires rather than scoff at them. Perhaps the acknowledgement leads to fulfilling them. We possess a hope that brings a romantic comedy like magic to our ordinary lives.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, especially with its Valentine’s Day timing. It proved my philosophy that love does surround us in all its cheesy and intense ways, whether culturally accepted as realistic or not.
For further reading, I recommend this Christianity Today article that describes a hope often overlooked in romantic comedies.