Movie Review: I Feel Pretty
I Feel Pretty is the latest comedy to hit the big screen. It was written and directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, the screenwriters behind Never Been Kissed and He’s Just Not That Into You. The film follows a woman named Renee Barrett, an insecure woman who suddenly has all the confidence in the world after a head injury. The film stars comedian Amy Schumer as Renee Barrett with Michelle Williams playing the character of Avery LeClaire. The film also boasts a fun supporting cast in Emily Ratajkowski, Rory Scovel, Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps, and Lauren Hutton.
The film begins by following Renee Barrett (Schumer) as she attends a cycling class for the first time. She immediately feels insecure for having to ask for a larger shoe size as she observes all of the incredibly thin women in the opening lobby. She has an incident before the class begins where she ends up embarrassing herself and leaving. It is soon revealed that Renee is a website manager for the cosmetics company Lily LeClaire but resents their obscure location in Chinatown. Her dream is to work as a receptionist and be “the face” of the company, but her insecurities hinder her from even applying for the job. However, when she goes back to the cycling class and hits her head after a fall, Renee believes she has become a conventionally thin, beautiful woman. With this change, she sets off on a whole new journey where her newfound confidence baffles everyone around her.
So, while the film has its issues, I have to start by saying that I found this movie to be fairly hilarious. Amy Schumer is incredibly charming in her portrayal of Renee, and she is found to be instantly relatable to a lot of women. She has terrific comedic timing, and she gets to show that off in a large portion of the film. Truly, I found the entire cast to be fairly enjoyable, and I enjoyed seeing their characters stay away from some of the stereotypes that can be found in a typical romantic comedy. Rory Scovel’s Ethan is not the typical macho lead, and I thought the twist for Michelle William’s Avery LeClaire gave this movie a different flair. I do think the film was about fifteen to twenty minutes too long, and the pacing does suffer in light of that. The plot and some of the messages seem to get muddled in the middle, although I think the first half of the film was superbly executed.
However, while the movie is quite funny, the heart of the film is what I enjoyed the most. Critics seem to eviscerating this one, but I found it more enjoyable than most. The film taps into the old adage that beauty is on the inside. In the beginning, Renee is the embodiment of so many women; she hates what she sees in the mirror, and she longs to be one of those “undeniably pretty” women. She goes to great lengths to put her best foot forward every day, yet it never feels like enough for her. After she begins to see herself as essentially a supermodel following her head injury, she walks through life with all the confidence in the world. That confidence completely changes her life, and she is oblivious to the fact that she is the exact same woman on the outside. Her thought process during that period of the film of course goes too far, which is where I think the messages really do get muddled. However, while I enjoy Renee’s arc and the hilarity that follows, she is not the only person in the film who struggles with self-confidence. Every single major character struggles with it in some way, and in that reveal, the movie’s message and heart begins to shine a little brighter.
Overall, I found I Feel Pretty to be perfectly enjoyable. Sure, it drags in certain moments and falls a little short of the clear message they’re wanting to portray, but I think it deserves some credit for even trying. Amy Schumer gives a genuine nature character to the lead character, and most of the supporting characters hit home on the positive message the movie is trying to communicate. I cannot say that is definitely worth a watch in the theater, but if you are a Schumer fan, then I think you’ll enjoy the journey that I Feel Pretty provides.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.