I’ll take my poignant life lesson with a side of bawdy humor and fat rolls, please! Two thumbs up for “I Feel Pretty.”
“I Feel Pretty” tells the story of a young woman that struggles deeply with her insecurity. After a tragic Soul Cycle accident, she wakes up believing that she is the most beautiful woman on the planet. Her newfound confidence empowers her to live fearlessly and to apply herself to the fullest.
The film is written and directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, both of whom are making their directorial debuts (snaps to them), and stars Amy Schumer alongside Michelle Williams, Rory Scovel, and “Saturday Night Live”‘s Aidy Bryant.
I always feel that it’s a crapshoot where Amy Schumer is involved. While I’m comfortable saying that I generally like her and find her funny, she has established herself as a controversial figure. Enter your own interpretations on whether or not she steals her material and how many vagina jokes you can find funny in a single set, but it can’t be denied that Schumer has a finger firmly on the pulse of ‘REAL LADY ISSUES AND THE SHIT THAT MAKES THEM FUNNY.’
When I first saw the trailers for “I Feel Pretty,” I was instantly excited. This seemed like it was out of the side of Amy Schumer’s wheelhouse that I liked. It looked relatable and it looked funny. But, I was also cautious. I loved her in “Trainwreck” and had been a fan of “Inside Amy Schumer” for some time. I had gone into “Snatched” with blind adoration and was bitterly disappointed. Schumer’s humor is crude and unpolished, but there definitely comes a point where that tilts too far. I was excited to see how well she walked that particular tightrope with this latest project.
You did good, Amy.
Not to make this a lady thing, but this movie got me right in my lady heart. The relationship with self-love and self-loathing is something that resonates deeply in women. Women face inconsistent sizes in clothing stores, beauty standards that get more and more unattainable, and the fear of standing out too much while also hoping they stand out enough. “I Feel Pretty” approached this with complete honesty. The scenes that play out are scenes that I, personally, have experienced a million times over. Self-confidence, unlike beauty, isn’t just something that you’re born with; it is a journey. Good on “I Feel Pretty” for showing that journey in a humorous way.
Of course, we can’t focus solely on the bits that move us – “I Feel Pretty” is funny! It offers the very best of Schumer’s crude humor. It’s real and it’s raw and I laughed out loud, many times. I can’t heap all the praise on Schumer, however. Michelle Williams was a surprise standout in this film. Her character was absolutely absurd (almost tragic for it) and so damn funny! She stole the scene every time she appeared on-screen.
“I Feel Pretty” was far from perfect and had a few problems. Schumer’s bad habit of rambling her punchlines continues. The largest sin, however, was that the conflict was a little forced. It’s a rom-com, so there has to be some relationship drama. It’s a chick flick, so there has to be some friendship falling out. Character arcs are a thing, so we have to see Amy Schumer go from bad to great to worse than before. You get the idea. This wasn’t the best execution and I honestly wish that we had let the conflict be a little more internal. Instead of finding problems on the outside, let Schumer’s Renee realize that being “pretty” has made her ugly. Wrestle with that.
I highly recommend this one for a girl’s night out, and congratulate Amy Schumer on churning out a good one! “I Feel Pretty” is out in theaters now!
Featured image credit: Amy Schumer | STX Entertainment
Caitlin is a lean, mean writing machine based in Austin, TX. Her love of film began when she was shown “Rosemary’s Baby” way too early in life. Bylines include The Financial Diet and Film Inquiry. Caitlin is a member of the Online Association of Female Film Critics and the Women Film Critics Circle.