‘Isn’t It Romantic’ writer Erin Cardillo wants to honor romcoms while also making fun of them
Writer Erin Cardillo opens up about loving and loathing romcoms and the inspiration behind the Valentines Day must-see movie ‘Isn’t It Romantic’
Starring Rebel Wilson, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra and Liam Hemsworth, ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ is the perfect romcom to enjoy with your friends or significant other on Valentines Day. Written by TV and film writer Erin Cardillo, ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ was a labor of love that took almost ten years to hit the big screen.
A lover of romcoms herself, Cardillo found that there were some massive misconceptions in almost all of the romcoms she loved. When writing the film, Cardillo not only wanted to poke for at those tropes but she also wanted to tell the story of a character who always thought she wasn’t worthy of the fantasy romcoms provide.
“I wrote this movie originally from the point of view of someone who grew up loving these movies but on some level thought it was an impossible fantasy. What I really wanted to do with the protagonist was to have her be someone who thought the ideas that romcoms portray weren’t for her and that she would never have this because she wasn’t Julia Roberts, or someone like that. I think comparing yourself to others is one of the hardest things women go through. I wrote the film for people that love these kinds movies but who also wonder, ‘Could I have something like that? Or do I have to look like a movie star in order to find love?’”
Besides poking fun at what many call the romcom genre, Cardillo also wanted to tell a story not just about falling in love, but loving yourself as well. So many romcoms feature women that need the validation and love of a man in order to love themselves, but the truth is that in order for someone else to love you, you need to conquer self love first. Between that sentiment and the idea of having a female protagonist that doesn’t look like the ones we are accustomed to, Cardillo thought that Rebel Wilson was the perfect fit and was thrilled when she was cast in the role.
“I didn’t write the role for Rebel specifically, but I think she is such a wonderful representation of the spirit of this character who is somebody that thinks ‘This could never happen to me’. It’s really important for me to put out positive messages for young women. It’s something I have tried to do in everything I have written. I’m a big sister and a mom and I think it’s really important that we can offer some positivity, especially now in regards to self image.”
While Cardillo is thrilled with how the film turned out, her original idea wasn’t the big, showy Hollywood blockbuster it turned out to be. She originally had thought it was going to be more of a low budget, indie film but what it ended up turning into is something she is far more thrilled with.
“From the original draft, I was thinking the film would be more of an independent movie and would be a lot more grounded and realistic and less big and spoofy. But I loved it’s evolution and how it turned into a more intellectual commentary on romantic comedies while also being a fun celebration of them and spoof at the same time, which makes it a little more accessible.”
Throughout Cardillo’s time writing the film, she herself was living out a love story of her own. Even though this was one of the best times of her life, she still felt that her life of loving romcoms, in a way, set her up to always be disappointed. So, for Cardillo, writing this film helped her explore all of the things she wished she had seen in romcoms growing up.
“I think I personally had a lot of unrealistic expectations about what love and romance was supposed to be and how it was all supposed to just magically fall into place. At the time, I was interested in exploring what it meant to find real love with a partner that you could sustain a life with. I actually got married during the course of writing this movie to a man that also loves romcoms and who did a romcom-esque proposal for me. So it all kind of merged together.”
‘Isn’t It Romantic’ hits theaters on Valentines Day!