I Feel Pretty – Film Review by Katie McCann
Directors: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
Writers: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
Stars: Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski
It is fair to say that Renee Bennett is suffering with self-esteem issues. Like many women, she hates how she looks, is obsessed with YouTube makeup tutorials and faces snooty sales reps at every turn. Stuck in her dead end job, working in the basement of a large makeup company, she longs to move up the ladder to their headquarters, if only she could pick up the courage to apply… But everything is about to change when she makes a wish to be beautiful one night in the middle of a thunder storm and the following day (after a pretty violent Soul Cycle related head trauma that 100% should have required a visit to the emergency room) her wish is granted! In her brain-damaged state Renee now sees herself as drop-dead gorgeous while staying exactly the same to everyone else. With her confidence now through the roof what could possibly go wrong?
I Feel Pretty is the latest rom-com spear headed by stand-up comic Amy Schumer focusing on the plight of “real women” in our beauty-obsessed culture. Schumer has made a name for herself as a comic who “tells it like it is” and is very on the nose with a lot of her own humour. Yet with I Feel Pretty, everything feels just a little too predictable, playing on all the clichés that movies like The Devil Wears Prada strutted across our screens with far more success back in 2006. While the overall premise of the film is admirable, aiming to set up and exposed the obviously ridiculous standards that society currently places on women, it fails to hit the mark no matter how good intentioned it may be. While there are some genuinely funny scenes with a run time of 110 minutes, the funny moments feel far too few and far between.
There is nothing about I Feel Pretty that sets it apart from other failed American rom-coms of recent years except that some of the supporting cast are far better than this film allows them to be. Aidy Bryant from SNL really shines at certain moments leaving you wishing the film had followed her story rather than Schumer’s.
Overall, I Feel Pretty is a noble effort that fails to fulfil its promise to empower the everyday woman its desperately trying to reach.