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Dan's Review: Beauty comes from within "I Feel Pretty"

Apr 19, 2018 03:48PM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Amy Schumer in I Feel Pretty - © 2018 STX Films.

I Feel Pretty (STX Films)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some partial nudity, and language.

Starring Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Rory Scovel, Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps, Naomi Campbell, Lauren Hutton, Tom Hopper, Sasheer Zamata, Dave Attell, Adrian Martinez.

Written and Directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein.

GRADE: B+
REVIEW:

I have to admit I’m a little wary of Amy Schumer’s act of late. I was impressed by her big 2015 breakthrough Trainwreck, in which she exhibited a certain amount of charm and originality. I was disgusted by her next film (Snatched), in which the basic source of humor was constant references to the hygiene of her female anatomy.  Schumer now stars in I Feel Pretty, a new romantic comedy about a woman with body image issues.

Schumer plays Renee, an online retail customer support specialist working for a major upscale New York cosmetics company. Renee is bothered by the way the world treats attractive women, while the rest are so often overlooked. After making a wish to become pretty, she bonks her head during a spin class mishap and wakes up under the impression that she has been magically transformed the most attractive woman in the world, while in reality, her appearance is exactly the same as before. Drawing on her perceived good looks gives Renee newfound confidence, which lands her a job as receptionist for the cosmetics company, working directly under the CEO Avery LeClair (Michelle Williams) who runs the firm started by her grandmother Lily (Lauren Hutton). Renee’s self-assurance leads to a romance with Ethan (Rory Scovel), a guy she meets at the dry cleaners, and also causes some tension among her pals Vivian (Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Phillips). Eventually, the façade of her physical traits catches up with Renee, and she has to come to terms with the idea that her life experience has more to do with the way she feels, rather than the way she looks.  

I was pleasantly surprised by I Feel Pretty, mostly because it seemed like it could have been yet another vehicle for Schumer to display her special brand of crass comedy (see: Snatched). Instead, Schumer exhibits more range than I thought she had, and the movie is a good vehicle for a timeless message about self-worth, attitude and the source of true beauty. It’s important to note that Schumer does not get a writing credit for I Feel Pretty, and I think that helped keep the movie from going too far over the top in terms of the sexual/hygiene humor the popular comedienne is known for (despite some language and minimal sexual humor, the movie is rated PG-13).

The movie’s “beauty comes from within” message is overt; and perhaps too much so, with a few preachy monologues strewn throughout. Such themes could have been handled with a little subtlety. There are also a few missed opportunities to make the film’s message a little more universal, or at the very least, relevant to some of the other characters. These minor flaws make I Feel Pretty a little more awkward than it should have been.

While I Feel Pretty isn’t perfect, it’s good enough to help anyone feel a little better about the who they are, rather than how they look.

 

I Feel Pretty Trailer

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