I Feel Pretty

A woman struggling with insecurity wakes from a fall believing she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet.

Her new confidence empowers her to live fearlessly, but what happens when she realizes her appearance never changed?

I Feel Pretty touches on wide reaching social issue as well as deeply personal challenges as the fearless Schumer is perfectly cast for the lead role. Filmmakers get a clever concept to work with for the one-hour and 50 minute screenplay from writer Abby Kohn and director Marc Silverstein.

Schumer’s latest lead comedic role puts her character Renee Bennett, a knowledgeable employee at the famous and now fledgling Lily LeClaire cosmetics company, through the emotional ringer as her life changes forever

I Feel Pretty is a film with some unachieved potential due to some laboring repetition, but, thankfully, it’s not very predictable.

The audience never sees the “perfect” vision Renee has of herself, so the filmmakers lean on Schumer’s performance…a lot. Ultimately it’s a wise decision for filmmakers because if you take that route, then the special effects become the star.

There are some funny montages of the music in her head the audiences gets to hear, but overall the stop-and-go laughs wear out the engine (and audience’s patience), so the climax becomes a mercy act instead of a satisfying payoff.

This comedy offers some familiar character turmoil as Schumer revisits her Trainwreck days

cannot quite cash in on the familiar body-swapping premise that worked so well in more age-related fantasy comedies like 17 Again and Big.

Audiences don’t get enough background on Renee and her trio of friends, played by Aidy Bryant and Busy Philipps. This duo acts as a decent conduit for Renee’s journey as their personalities are realistic without overwhelming or distracting from the main story. They have very functional roles as vessels to communicate some very relatable dialogue. Emily Ratajkowski’s role as Mallory, offers a different perspective as a woman who Renee looks up to because of her good looks. The SoulCycle receptionist played by Sasheer Zamata boosts the comedy with another SNL cast member.

Michelle Williams is a definite bright spot as Avery LeClaire, Renee’s boss and granddaughter the company’s founder Lilly, well played by Lauren Hutton. This movie reunites Williams and Busy Philipps, real life best friends, who also worked on the Dawson’s Creek television series together. Noami Campbell has a small, but notable role as the CFO of Lily LeClaire.

Avery’s brother Grant (Tom Hopper) factors into the plot as a love interest for Renee as does Rory Scovel who plays Ethan. It’s important audiences see these men react to Renee’s newly empowered actions as well as her self loathing meltdowns for an even wider perspective.

It’s important to note that aany awkward or seemingly negative reactions these men have towards Renee have more to do with their own insecurities and social norms. She inspires and empowers them to be more of themselves. It’s also particularly notable that filmmakers did not cast a widely recognizable male lead. Did male stars feel the film was too personal or maybe just didn’t want to alter their persona? Did filmmakers purposely cast relative unknowns? The latter was the better decision as Schumer remains the focus and filmmakers avoid possible distraction or unwanted sidebars in the plot.

This mildly entertaining comedy gets the conversation going on body image, society norms, and personal purpose. It’s an admirable achievement and a call to action for societial changes.

Recommended with many reservations (** out of four stars) and rated PG-13 for sexual content, some partial nudity, and language.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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This entry was posted in 2010s Film Reviews, Film Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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