Associated Press AP

Michael B. Jordan Seems Down To Play DC’s Superman, On One Condition

When the news dropped last year that Henry Cavill might be out as Superman in the DCEU, it was also rumored that Warner Bros. might be looking to go in a different direction with the character, possibly considering actor Michael B. Jordan to don the cape down the road. We still don’t have much clarity on Henry Cavill’s future as the character, but Michael B. Jordan has addressed the rumors and possibility of playing Superman. He said:

Michael B. Jordan sounds down to play the Man of Steel, but he also seems to struggle with the idea a bit. The idea of playing Superman is exciting, but he also knows that such a role comes with pros and cons. He has an astute understanding of what him taking on the role would mean, and all the baggage that comes with it.

The Black Panther actor knows that anyone who takes on a beloved character like Superman would be subject to intense scrutiny and dissection. He would also be constantly compared to the many Supermen that have come before him. That’s a big downside. So rather than fight the tide of history and expectations, Michael B. Jordan told Oprah on OWN that he would rather play a character that hasn’t been seen on the big screen before, Superman Calvin Ellis.

Michael B. Jordan proved his comic book bona fides here because a lot of people reading this probably thought ‘Who?’ Calvin Ellis, born Kalel, no hyphen, is the Superman of Earth-23, a different Earth in the Multiverse. On his Earth, Calvin Ellis is both Superman and the President (way to underachieve, Clark!). He made his debut in Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis #7 in March 2009 and was based on President Barack Obama. You can see him in the image below:

In addition to pulling a deep comics cut here, Michael B. Jordan also proposed a way that he could be Superman, without having quite the same level of comparison to the other cinematic Supermen. And while I’m sure there would still be endless comparisons made, at least Jordan would be occupying new space onscreen.

Calvin Ellis is Superman, but he’s not Clark Kent. It is very similar to Miles Morales and Peter Parker. They are both Spider-Man, but they are not the same person. Both can exist and be appreciated equally. He could also play Earth-2’s Val-Zod as some fan art has suggested.

It’s a pretty savvy idea on Michael B. Jordan’s part and he really seems to have a firm grasp on the fervor that surrounds superhero casting. He played the Human Torch in Fantastic Four and Killmonger in Black Panther. The latter role had never been seen onscreen before, so he could make the role his own without drawing comparisons to what came before. But Superman is an entirely different animal than Johnny Storm or N’Jadaka and Michael B. Jordan knows that.

It must be said, Henry Cavill could still return to the Superman role but if he doesn’t Michael B. Jordan has proposed an interesting way we could get a new and different Superman onscreen.

Lizzo Makes The Guys Cry Tears Of Joy In ‘Cuz I Love You’ Video

Lizzo‘s new album comes out soon so it’s only right that today she releases the video to the song’s powerful title track. The enormous vocal presence here is astounding and, somehow, the black and white visual manages to match the effort in sheer scale. There’s just one thing missing – her fierce woodwind instrument, Sasha Flute. Take a look at the video below.

From the very beginning, things seem just a bit off. From the framing of the camera to the accompanying revealing vocals, it seems like Lizzo is confessing her sins to a priest. But things aren’t all that they seem; she’s actually talking to a significant other who’s incarcerated. As she belts high vocals she becomes the head of her own congregation of chiseled men who stream tears as her vocals soar higher and higher. The entire time, the monochrome presentation paints a retro picture that her exaggerated makeup backs up. It’s a weird, nostalgic experience.

Cuz I Love You is right around the corner and, because of it, we’re seeing more Lizzo than ever before. Last week, she gave The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon perhaps the funkiest show in its history with a disco-ball themed performance of “Juice.” Her performance of the record on Ellen in January was equally spectacular, incorporating both the audience and Sasha Flute for a flashy preview of what to expect when her album hits stores in April. She’ll also be embarking on a tour in support of the LP that same month, so get tickets to hear “Cuz I Love You” and “Juice” live. Who knows, Sasha Flute may even make an appearance

Netflix’s Dating Around Review: The One Horrifying Moment We Must Discuss

The premise of Netflix’s new reality show Dating Around, streaming now, is simple: A single person goes on a series of blind dates, and by the end they choose one prospect to move forward with. If that sounds boring or reductive, stay with me—because this series is anything but.

You have to make it past episode one, though, which features your standard 27-year-old bro having dinner and drinks with five different women. It’s cringe-y and awkward—which may be the point—but things really pick up in episode two. That’s when we meet an Indian woman who shuts down her ignorant white male date. It’s a tense, necessary exchange that will hit home for anyone who’s experienced culture clash. In episode three, we watch a gay man attempt to find love; the conversations that emerge from that about coming out are heartfelt and fascinating. Episode four, my personal favorite, centers on a widower immersing himself in the dating scene. He’s a no-fuss, long-retired lawyer who’s just looking for companionship, and the women he meets are all queens.

But we really need to talk about what happens in episode five. We’re introduced to Sarah, a recent New York City transplant who agrees to five blind dates. One of those is with John, who tells Sarah he goes by “Mr. John”—weird, but not offensive. But then they sit down for dinner, and Sarah says she might order what the restaurant calls the “Big Salad.” To this John says, “That caught your attention? You like it big?” Yes, John makes a dick joke not even an hour into his date with Sarah.

She laughs it off, but then he makes another comment. When Sarah tells John she enjoys singing jazz, he asks if he can hear some. She takes a sip of her wine—presumably to loosen up before singing—and John jokes, “Yeah, you don’t want anything in your throat, right?” Again with the dick jokes.

Sarah, visibly uncomfortable, then does something awesome: She gets up and leaves midway through the date. “I have a little bit of a headache, and I do have an early morning meeting with a client, so thank you so much for coming out and meeting me,” she says. “It’s been a very interesting evening, but I think I might skadoodle, if that’s cool.”

Unfortunately, men behaving inappropriately within minutes of a first date is a reality many, many women face. “I have stories for days,” Amanda, a 25-year-old public relations manager, tells me before diving into a particularly horrifying account. “One time, I met up for my very first date with a guy at a restaurant. During the first few seconds, we shared an awkward hug, and I said, ‘It’s nice to meet you.’ He said, ‘Glad you made it,’ then pushed his hips against mine and said, ‘This little guy is glad you made it too.’ He was talking about his penis.”

Gabby, a 25-year-old operations coordinator, had a similar experience. “I was leaving one guy’s apartment after a terrible first date,” she says. “We didn’t do anything beyond kissing, and he told me I was ‘causing problems downstairs’ as I walked out, referring to his boner.”

How Sarah handles the situation on Dating Around is incredible to watch. She realizes she doesn’t have to put up with John’s grossness, and so she promptly leaves. “I have a really bad habit of giving absolutely everything to men that don’t fucking deserve it,” she says at one point in the episode. “And so I no longer do that.” Cheers to that.

We should all adopt this mindset when it comes to dating, but that’s easier said than done sometimes. John’s comments clearly made Sarah uncomfortable, but it took two of them for her to leave the date. When she does, she pads her reasoning for dipping out with kindness. Words like “skadoodle” and thanking John for his time are pleasantries he doesn’t deserve.

How Cher Influenced Lady Gaga In A Star Is Born

Lady Gaga is having a very big moment right now. In addition to starting her Las Vegas residency, the pop singer made her leading lady debut in Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A Star Is Born. Gaga has taken home a SAG award for her performance, and is even nominated to Best Actress at this year’s Academy Awards.

But Lady Gaga has been open about how nerves affected her on set, especially during the first few days of A Star Is Born’s production. Eric Roth wrote the script for the musical drama alongside Bradley Cooper, and recently revealed a conversation he had with Gaga early in the process, and how Cher helped inspire Ally Maine. As he tells it,

Is anyone else’s mind blown? While moviegoers might not have equated these two movies together, upon examination I can totally see the similarities between Lady Gaga’s Ally and Cher’s Loretta Castorini.

Eric Roth’s comments to Deadline once again shows how nervous Lady Gaga was during the earlier stages of her time playing Ally Maine. While she came from a theater background and has starred in projects like American Horror Story: Coven, playing the lead character in A Star Is Born was quite the departure.

Much like Cher in Moonstruck, Lady Gaga brought a mixture of vulnerability and swagger to Ally Maine that captured moviegoers’ attentions from her first scene in the bathroom. Eli Roth picked a great example of the type of characterization Gaga needed, and it seems it really paid off for the singer/actress.

Of course, the parallels between Ally and Loretta are also obvious in the performers who inhabited those roles. Just like Cher in Moonstruck, Lady Gaga had the pressure of being a popular singer dipping her toes into the acting world. Ultimately both performances were critically acclaimed, with Cher winning the Best Actress Oscar at the 60th Academy Awards.

Lady Gaga would no doubt like to follow suit in this way, and take home a coveted statue for her role in A Star Is Born. But the cards may be stacked against Mother Monster, considering how the rest of the Awards Ceremonies have gone down. While Gaga was honored with tons of nominations, she’s been largely losing to Glenn Close for her outstanding performance in The Wife. She did take home a SAG Award, but that victory was due to being tied with Close

We’ll see if Lady Gaga takes home an Oscar when the Academy Awards air February 24th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

That Time Will Smith Turned Down The Matrix

Hollywood is full of “the one that got away” stories. Actors turn down roles that end up being massive hits. At the time, the decision clearly seemed right, but in retrospect actors frequently realize they’ve made a mistake. Will Smith has now come clean about how he had the opportunity to take the lead role of Neo in The Matrix, but obviously, that didn’t happen. Although, Smith says the decision really did make sense at the time, as the initial pitch of the Wachowski’s was sort of bonkers. According to Smith…

The pitch, according to Smith on his YouTubechannel, focused on the bullet time effects the pair were planning, and the way Smith portrays the directors’ presentation, it sounds like it came across as less than entirely thought through. It seems that Smith figured that this wasn’t something he wanted to get involved in. If this is true then the Wachowskis didn’t make their best case. While the effects were cool and also ground breaking, they’re not the reason to make a movie.

Of course, since Will Smith didn’t make The Matrix that meant he was free to make Wild Wild West. Smith admits he is not proud of this decision.

While Will Smith clearly has some regrets about turning down The Matrix, he also admits that it was probably the best decision for everybody. Smith thinks the version of The Matrix we got was perfect, and if he had said yes, getting Will Smith as Neo wouldn’t have been the only major change we would have seen. Smith goes on…

Whether or not Will Smith would have ruined The Matrix is a question we’ll never have answer to. It certainly would have been a different movie. Though Kilmer and Smith acre great actors in their own right so maybe it still would have become the franchise we know today. Instead, Neo became one of Keanu Reeves most iconic characters and it’s difficult to envision the film with anybody else in that role.

Still, if Will Smith starring in The Matrix had saved the world from Wild Wild West, maybe it all would have been worth it.

The Kissing Booth Sequel Is Happening: Here’s Everything We Know

Last year, Netflix blessed us all by bringing back the rom com. (Not that it was ever truly gone for us real stans, but at least they’re cool again.) The streaming service did this by premiering a slew of instant classics, including Set It Up, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. But there was one film in particular that kicked off this rom-com renaissance: The Kissing Booth, which became the most rewatched movie on all of Netflix for 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

For the uninitiated, The Kissing Booth is based on Beth Reekles’s YA novel of the same name. It follows Elle Evans (Joey King) and her BFF Lee (Joey Courtney) during their junior year of high school. These two do everything together—from Dance Dance Revolution, to stuffing themselves with cheeseburgers—but there’s one thing they can’t bond over: Elle’s secret, massive crush on Lee’s older brother, Noah (Jacob Elordi).

And for those of you who couldn’t get enough of Elle, Lee, and Noah’s story, Netflix just announced a Valentine’s Day miracle: Production has started on a sequel for The Kissing Booth.

Here’s everything we know about it so far, and we’ll update this post as more details come in. But first, watch the teaser trailer below:

The director: Vince Marcello, who led the first film, is back onboard to direct the second.

The cast: Joey King, Joel Courtney, and Jacob Elordi are attached to star in the sequel. King had previously told TV Guide, “Right now, we’re not really sure. [The cast] would love for that to happen, but everything is still up in the air. We’re still waiting on [Netflix],” so it doesn’t come as that much of a surprise they signed on for the second film.

The plot: Details for the plot are still under warps, but King shared her dream premise for the sequel. “If there was a sequel, my prediction would be hopefully Elle and Noah stay together,” she told Seventeen. “Elle goes to visit Noah at college. Of course, there has to be some crazy things that get out of hand, but I don’t know. I really hope that a lot of the original characters, if there was a sequel, like the OMG Girls and Tuppen and all those amazing characters would definitely be in it.”

As for the fate of Elle and Noah’s relationship, King said, “Of course, I think everyone, including myself, wants to see Elle and Noah stay together. I feel like Elle and Noah should stay together and get into the theme park business together and be a power couple who builds theme parks.”

X-Men Producer Really Wanted An All-Female Team Movie

Before shared universes and serialized storytelling became commonplace, the superhero genre had its humble beginnings with Bryan Singer’s 2000 blockbuster X-Men. And in the nearly two decades since that movie arrived in theaters, superhero flicks have risen to dominate the film industry, with certain installments going so far as to get award nominations in the process. And the X-Men franchise is still going strong, although Disney and Fox’s impending merger has the potential to change things forever.

Producer Lauren Shuler Donner has worked on every single installment in the X-Men franchise, although she’s poised to step down once Disney takes control of the property. While she’s had an impressive career within the property, there’s one X-Men movie that Donner never got around to producing: one with an all-female team. As she recently revealed:

Is anybody else’s FOMO going through the roof? It looks like Lauren Shuler Donner had thought out a pitch for an X-Woman movie, but it never actually came to fruition. And in the current climate of the superhero genre, that movie would probably resonate well with audiences. Too bad.

Lauren Shuler Donner’s comments to Decider are sure to get a reaction from the generations of X-Men fans out there who are hoping that the femme fatales of the brand might become a larger role in the universe. While Storm, Jean, and Rogue were part of the original trilogy, they didn’t always get the spotlight the same way that Wolverine, Professor X, or Magneto did. The same can also be said with the current timeline. Jennifer Lawrence has been given some great material as the new Mystique, but the First Class movies haven’t been particularly female-centric.

Of course, that is set to change with Dark Phoenix. The upcoming blockbuster will be largely focused on Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey, as she struggles with a dark power that takes control of her. Jennifer Lawrence is also set to reprise her role as Mystique, with Alexandra Shipp returning as Storm. While that movie’s been pushed back a number of times, Dark Phoenix‘s very title shows how much the upcoming blockbuster will revolve around Jean.

While the X-Woman movie never came to fruition at 20th Century Fox, perhaps it’s possible within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige has maintained that the mysterious Phase Four will feature more women, so a female X-Men movie doesn’t seem out of the question. It could be a great way to bring the mutants into the MCU, while also appealing to calls of more on-screen inclusion.

Dark Phoenix is currently set to arrive in theaters on June 7th, so we have a while to wait before the flick is officially released. In the meantime, check out our full 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Star Wars: Episode 9 Rumors – Let’s Talk About The Title

For some reason or another, be it the Super Bowl, tweets from C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels or just a feeling that the announcement is overdue, the past few weeks have been a fervor of anticipation and speculation that the title revelation for Star Wars: Episode IX was imminent. And yet as of now, like the rest of Star War: Episode IX, the title remains shrouded in mystery.

The title is apparently so secretive that the Lucasfilm story group does not know it and new cast member Dominic Monaghan has said that director J.J. Abrams alone knows what the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga will be called. And yet, considering how few people supposedly know the title there sure are plenty who think they know.

As is the case with everything regarding this movie, rumors abound about the film’s title. So you know the drill, grab those saltshakers and let’s talk about the title for Star Wars: Episode IX.

First up in the list of contenders is Star Wars: Son of Darkness. When it comes to rumored titles, this is perhaps the most ominous, hearkening to the Dark Side centric titles of The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith. This title would seem to apply to one character in particular and while it could technically work for Luke Skywalker as the son of Darth Vader, it is far more likely that it refers to Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

As was the case for Avengers 4, some fans are looking to dialogue in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi for potential Star Wars: Episode IX titles. Avengers: Endgame ultimately did pull a piece of dialogue from Avengers: Infinity War for its title and a similar thing could happen here.

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in Snoke’s throne room, the Supreme Leader says to Kylo Ren “My worthy apprentice, Son of Darkness, heir apparent to Lord Vader” before commanding him to fulfill his destiny by killing Rey. So if the title is Son of Darkness, it would clearly be pulling from this scene and referring to Kylo Ren.

One reason this seems like a strong contender is that this sequel trilogy is very much a tale of two characters. One of them is Kylo Ren. I think it would come as no surprise if Ben Solo is ultimately redeemed in Episode IX and if he has such an arc, this title, which refers to him, would definitely be applicable. And as Episode IX is the last chapter in the Skywalker Saga, and he’s the last Skywalker (we think), having him in the title would be fitting.

Next up is another title originally surfaced on Reddit in a since deleted post (still have those salt shakers?), Star Wars: The New Order. I personally think this one is pretty solid because it works on several levels. It would maintain the three-word titling scheme, beginning with the word ‘the’ that has been used thus far in the sequel trilogy, providing some symmetry to the whole thing.

Since the First Order is the villain in the sequel trilogy, The New Order would flip that around, referring to the new order in the galaxy that will be established when good (presumably) triumphs over evil. Another meaning one could infer is that this title is about the Jedi Order.

Despite the assumptions after Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker was never able to restore the Jedi Order to the prominence it once had in the Republic. This title would imply that the Jedi Order would exist again, but newer and better than before. It’s a hopeful title that also has a bit of poetry to it, especially if it’s A New Order instead of The New Order; the last line of a poem whose first line was A New Hope.

Another title that has been bandied about is Star Wars: The Knights of Ren, which would set up the greatest troll job of all time if the much-hyped Dark Siders still don’t show up. Considering the recent rumors that not only will the Knights of Ren be in the film, they could actually be the final villains, this title or The Order of Ren would be applicable. Despite that, it is a bit on the nose and it would be somewhat strange to reference a group of characters that we haven’t seen before, villains at that, in the final film in the Skywalker Saga.

Most recently, a supposed leak indicated that the title for Episode IX would be Star Wars: Balance of the Force. This leak also showed an image, purportedly meant for the official Star Wars website, of the Star Wars logo in purple with this subtitle. This rumored title made the rounds in a big way when it seemed like the title reveal was imminent. You could assume that if this was the title and it leaked, Lucasfilm would just reveal it, but there are no guarantees of that.

Personally, I don’t love the way Balance of the Force rolls of the tongue. It doesn’t flow great, but I do love the substance of it. This is supposed to be the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga and I’ve argued in the past that in order to bring closure to that Saga, Star Wars: Episode IX has to bring balance to the Force. The Force’s lack of equilibrium has been a driving theme in this Saga so to finally see it achieve balance in the end seems right and necessary.

Rey and Kylo together are probably the key to bringing balance to the Force and this rumored title would be a cool way to send the Saga out on a positive note. We’ve also seen the yellow and red lettering for the first two films in the sequel trilogy respectively, so a purple logo, the blending of the Sith red and the Jedi blue to show balance would be cool.

Alright, now those seem to be the rumored titles that have been the most talked about, but let’s dig into some of the others that have been rumored or suggested, lightning round style.

Star Wars: Ashes of the Empire. The words “Ashes of the Empire” appear in the crawl text for The Force Awakens but it feels a bit late in the game to use this title; it would have been more appropriate for Episode VII.

Also taken from an opening crawl, The Last Jedi’s, is Star Wars: The Rising Tyranny. This title would do a great job at conveying the stakes for Episode IX where tyranny must be overcome or the galaxy is doomed. That said, it does feel like a middle chapter title.

Next up is Broom Kid’s title of choice Star Wars: A Spark of Hope. This is also taken from the crawl of The Last Jedi and the message of that film’s end, where Luke’s display of power and sacrifice gave hope to citizens across the galaxy that all was not lost.

I’ve also seen Star Wars: The Chosen One suggested. It’s a cool title and certainly has relevance to the series, but considering that Anakin Skywalker was the chosen one, it seems unlikely. Unless of course Anakin/Vader is in this movie (he’d have to play a major part right?) as has been rumored or J.J. Abrams decides that now Rey is the chosen one.

Another fun possibility would be Revenge of the Jedi, the original title of Return of the Jedi. This title is both hopeful and badass but I think a bit unlikely.

Legacy of the Force sounds cool and really would work for a film that is the final chapter in a franchise that has a more storied legacy than any in cinema, but Legacy of the Force is already a series of books in Legends and I doubt Lucasfilm would want to use an existing title.

Star Wars: The Rebellion Reborn could also be a possibility because Luke says it in The Last Jedi. It’s hopeful and references the Rebellion of the original trilogy, indicating that the Resistance builds up and becomes a full on Rebellion, achieving the same victory.

It’s a fun guessing game to play, and many people are considering things like how many words each film’s title has, the sequel trilogy movies all start with ‘the’ and are 3 words, the final films in each trilogy have started with the letter ‘R’ and so on and so on.

In some ways it doesn’t matter what the title is. It won’t reveal some huge spoiler and will probably only hint at the film’s plot. Even a lame title or jokey title like the many floating around the internet recently won’t take away from our enjoyment of the film.

But this is Star Wars and this is the last Star Wars movie in the Skywalker Saga. Of course we want the title to sound cool and have meaning and weight and an eternal quality to it. Say what you will about the film itself but Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a banger of a title.

Personally, I want a title that is both hopeful and puts a stamp on things, providing some closure to this Saga as I hope the film itself does. I’d also like it to have some parallels to what came before in both theme and structure. Therefore Balance of the Force or A/The New Order would be my preference of the rumored titles. Some variation of Star Wars: The Last Hope or Star Wars: A Final Hope would also feel right.

Star Wars: Episode IX arrives in theaters with a title (presumably) on December 20. Check out our release guide for all the year’s biggest movies and let us know what you want the title to be in the poll below.

Which Rumored Title For Star Wars: Episode IX Do You Like Best?

Blended From Around The Web


Isn’t It Romantic Reviews Are Up, Here’s What Critics Are Saying

It’s Valentine’s Day and, as is frequently the case, that means it’s time for another big screen romantic comedy. Rebel Wilson’s Isn’t it Romantic is, without question, a rom-com, but one with a unique angle in that it actually is self-aware and also acts of a send up of the genre. How well does it all work? Based on the reviews, it works well enough. The film isn’t the romantic comedy revolution it could have been, but it’s a light and fun movie that at worst is a slightly better than average example of the genre.

I wrote the official CinemaBlend review for Isn’t it Romantic and I largely enjoyed it.I gave the film 3.5 stars because I thought Rebel Wilson did a great job leading the film while poking fun at genre conventions, even if the film falters by ultimately falling victim to all those same genre conventions.

Isn’t it Romantic wants to be both send up and homage to the genre and while it does an admirable job, it ultimately doesn’t commit to either concept enough and thus, the ending especially, gets a little muddy.

For the most part, it seems that a lot of other critics tend to agree. Few are over the moon about Isn’t it Romantic, nobody is going to call the film revolutionary, but several critics seem to have enjoyed it. CNN has one of the most glowing takes, simply saying that the time spent with the film is fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Isn’t It Romantic has charm to burn, in a light-hearted send-up of romantic comedies that playfully turns all the familiar tropes into a lively vehicle for Rebel Wilson. The movie owes a thematic debt to Groundhog Day, but mostly — in a film so conscious of conventions that it niftily bleeps its foul language — it’s a heckuva lot of fun.

The Associated Press is slightly more critical of its take, pointing out that Isn’t it Romantic, like so many of the romantic comedies it references, never gets too deep, but in the end, sometimes the fun of stories like this is all we really want.

Isn’t It Romantic stays pretty surface level, which makes for a fine and pleasurable viewing experience, but doesn’t exactly do anything to show that rom-coms would be better if the best friends had more of an inner life, for example. In fact, it just kind of redeems the formula in some ways. It’s fun to join a world with unrealistically glamorous jobs and apartments and wardrobes and cities, especially when there’s a good story to go along with it! And also that you can never go wrong with an upbeat song and dance scene. No guilt necessary.

To be fair, the song and dance numbers (yes, plural) are pure sugar-coated fun. There’s little need for them, but sometimes you just need to enjoy fun pop music and choreography.

Isn’t it Romantic sees Rebel Wilson play a woman who hates the unrealistic portrayal of love and relationships that we’ve all seen in one too many romantic comedy. However, a bump on the head causes her to wake up in a parallel world where everything around her works by the rules of the genre. Men are automatically interested in her. She has a perfect life with an amazing job and a great New York apartment. Of course, since she’s not a fan of these movies, all Wilson’s character wants is to find a way out.

The solution, she figures, is to follow the rules of romantic comedies and make it to the end of the movie. What follows is a collection of self-aware jokes as the movie never quite breaks the fourth wall, but certainly gives it a good kick now and then. Rebel Wilson is unable to drop F-bombs because romantic comedies are all PG-13. Her attempts at actually having sex are all thwarted because the story just cuts away to the next morning.

Of course, while Isn’t it Romantic takes aim at the tropes of the rom-com, it can’t actually do that without including all those same tropes in the plot, which means that for some critics, like The Film Stage, Isn’t it Romantic tries to have it both ways and it just can’t.

Unfortunately, a one-note romantic comedy with all the tropes isn’t exactly the best way to parody the genre, even if it’s wrapped in an empowering story that tackles the gender problems at the core of heteronormative rom-coms.

Of course, in the end, what matters most to any rom-com (even an unconventional one) is that the story is both romantic and funny. If the chemistry between the characters or the humor is especially good, it can successfully elevate “just another romantic comedy” into an acceptable, if not exceptional, addition. However, several reviewers feel that Isn’t it Romantic fails at one or both elements. The Toronto Star puts it succinctly.

A sloppily written story that fails as both romance and comedy.

In the end, the question of whether or not you like Isn’t it Romantic may simply fall to your feelings on romantic comedies in general or Rebel Wilson specifically. While most reviews praise Wilson, I certainly thought she carried the film well, not everybody agrees. Comedy may be the most subjective film genre, not everybody finds the same things funny, and that means that you get a variety of takes from different critics regarding whether or not the film is actually funny.

While the jokes at the expense of the romantic comedy genre will likely be especially fun for those who don’t care for rom-coms, the fact is that, in the final analysis, the movie is still a rom-com. Isn’t it Romantic doesn’t skewer the genre enough to make the haters happy. If what you want is a romantic comedy then the jokes poking fun at your favorite film style won’t be enough to turn you off, or hide the fact that the film doesn’t hate rom-coms as much as it might claim.

And since it’s Valentine’s Day, there will probably be more people looking for a light and funny romance than usual. You could certainly do worse.

Isn’t it Romantic opens in theaters Friday.

Blended From Around The Web


How to Master the French-Girl Cat Eye

THE MUSE AND THE TOOLS Brigitte Bardot on the set of ‘Contempt’ in 1963.
THE MUSE AND THE TOOLS Brigitte Bardot on the set of ‘Contempt’ in 1963. Photo: Getty Images

FEW MAKEUP LOOKS are as enduring, or as tricky to perfect, as the cat eye—that upturned bit of liner that extends past one’s peepers. The coquettish effect is ubiquitous, from runways (see Marni, Chanel) to the red carpet (Cardi B, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus all embraced the cat eye at the 2019 Grammys on Feb. 10). But no one has worn it quite like Brigitte Bardot, who was seldom photographed without her dark winged eyeliner after she broke out in the 1956 film, “And God Created Woman.” “She was a little bit of a feline,” said Peter Philips, the makeup maestro and creative and image director for Dior Makeup. “She wore it in a natural way.” Her inimitable lids became so iconic that in 1961, French cosmetics brand Aziza made her its eye-product poster girl, running ads with the slogan: “For Bardot and for you.”

But are cat eyes for “you”? I’ve often pondered this after my failed efforts to look kittenish left me with liquid liner smeared across my temples. As Mr. Philips explained, a deftly drawn cat eye evokes danger, sensuality and intimidation; my shaky attempts conjure a drunk raccoon or a damp Picasso. He suggests novices start by staring in the mirror—eyes open—and dotting the skin where the wings should end. Tattoo artist and makeup mogul Kat Von D seconded that tip, and she should know, considering she’s been lining her lids since age 12 and has built a cosmetics empire on a best-selling liquid eyeliner.

In a last-ditch effort to overcome my eyeliner ineptitude, I headed to Chanel’s newly opened Atelier Beauté in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, a beauty and fragrance workshop that offers one-on-one makeup lessons. Using the brand’s pencil and liquid liners, makeup artist Cyndle Komarovski gave me a crash course (below) in creating Ms. Bardot’s as-it-turned-out imitable cat eye, which is simpler than it seems. And after nearly two decades of winged failure, finally, my eyes have it.

1. Pencil Eyeliner, $30, 2. Blue Eyeliner, $30.50, 3. Kat Von D Beauty Eyeliner, $20, 4. Eyeliner, $58, 5. Eyeliner, $35,
1. Pencil Eyeliner, $30, 2. Blue Eyeliner, $30.50, 3. Kat Von D Beauty Eyeliner, $20, 4. Eyeliner, $58, 5. Eyeliner, $35,
1. Pick Your Poison

Proper tools are a must. Cat eyes can be achieved with pencil, gel, or liquid, but newbies should stick to a liquid liner in felt-tip or brush form. On me, Ms. Komarovski started with Chanel’s Le Crayon Khôl in black and then layered the brand’s liquid liner on top.

2. Dot Your Eyes

To achieve a clean, graphic line, you must start by looking in the mirror and making dots where you want the wings to end. Ms. Von D suggests stepping back to ensure the dots are even on both sides.

3. Fill It In

Next, trace your lash lines and connect them to the dots. “Fill it in like a coloring book,” said Ms. Von D. “I personally like to start really thin” a la Ms. Bardot. Mr. Philips concurred: “It’s better to start small and to build it up.”

4. Be a Cat Woman

“A cat eye is not just makeup, it’s also an attitude,” Mr. Philips insisted. “You can paint on a cat eye, but if you don’t carry [yourself] like a cat woman, why make the effort?”

The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.

More in Style & Fashion