Coming out and saying it, I am not a fan of Amy Schumer. Let me be crystal clear on what I mean by that. I am not a fan of the entertainer. The woman, I respect, and even admire in certain areas. She is a serious scrapper against body image standards, so I won’t deny that I like what she stands and fights for. With that said, as a comedian, I don’t personally find her funny. I can’t get into her stand-ups, as her jokes on pretty much anything outside feminism, particularly with ethnic groups, tend to lean on the insensitive side. And her two previous films didn’t leave much of an impact with me doesn’t help her case much. If you told me she was funny, I’d believe you. But in that way, she basically the American Rebel Wilson: probably a funny person, but not a funny actor. But I digress.
The story looks like it’s about a woman with self-image problems. But then she sustains an injury that causes her think that she’s… beautiful? And develops confidence in herself that wasn’t there before.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Amy Schumer, known for THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE (2017), SNATCHED (2017), and TRAINWRECK (2015). In support, we have Michelle Williams (ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD , GREATEST SHOWMAN , CERTAIN WOMEN , and upcoming films VENOM  and RIO ), Rory Scovel (THE HOUSE  and DEAN ), Emily Ratajkowski (GONE GIRL , and upcoming films IN DARKNESS  and WELCOME HOME ), and Busy Philipps (THE GIFT ).
Now for the crew. Co-writing and co-directing are Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, both making their feature directorial debuts, but both wrote HOW TO BE SINGLE (2016). Composing the score is Michael Andrews, known for DADDY’S HOME 2 (2017), NEIGHBORS 2 (2016), DADDY’S HOME (2015), and the upcoming HEADLOCK (2018). The cinematographer is Florian Ballhaus, known for SNATCHED. Finally, the editor is Tia Nolan, known for MIDNIGHT SUN (2018) and HOW TO BE SINGLE.
Overall, I think… it’s not going to be good. Already it’s difficult to decipher if Schumer’s character is hallucinating, or suddenly snapped and decided to suddenly develop self-confidence out of nowhere. But I’m already thinking that because she sees herself as a perceived “hot girl,” that she’s basically just going to be an unlikable character who acts slutty, or makes hot girl jokes. Ugh, just hoping for something that won’t be a comedy graveyard.
This is my honest opinion of: I FEEL PRETTY
Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer) works a great job working for a high-end make-up company, but is dissatisfied with the way she looks, wishing that she were prettier. One night, she takes a chance and makes a wish at a fountain that she was more attractive, but doesn’t work. The next day at a spin class, her stationary bike breaks, and she falls over, sustaining a head injury that briefly knocks her out. When she comes to, she looks in the mirror and is convinced that she looks better, even though her appearance hasn’t changed at all. Soon, sets out into the world with a new sense of confidence in her appearance.
I’m not a fan, but I don’t think I agree with the 3.7/10 (as of 4/23/2018) on IMDb.
The movie certainly doesn’t start very promising. It basically opens on Renee walking into the gym and asks for a larger shoe size, but then the employee starts raising her voice to her fellow employee about the larger shoe size in full earshot of everyone standing in the lobby. Kind of a bitch move. And to make matters kind of worse, the movie takes way too long to get the plot started. It’s a bunch of filler to show that Renee has self-esteem issues, but we already got that moment when she looks at herself in the mirror. Honestly, that was all that was needed. No dialog, Schumer’s acting spoke volumes, felt relatable, it was an all around powerful moment. But then you have scenes where she and her friends are trying to take a group photo and she goes on a tirade about how men only look at the pictures, not the information on a profile. It just gets a little too hammered in for what we can already guess and for what the movie ready did an effective job at conveying to us.
Funny enough, Schumer is usually my least favorite actor in any movie that she’s been a part of. But while I think she does fine here, it’s bizarrely Michelle Williams as Avery LeClair that drove me up the damned walls. I’m usually indifferent toward her. She’s never blown me away in any role that she’s taken, she’s just another actor to me. But any time she’s on screen, it’s a painful sit. She puts on this Jennifer Tilly-like voice that you would swear was straight from Family Guy’s Bonnie Swanson. I’m not kidding, that’s exactly who Williams sounds like in this movie and… honestly, for no discernible reason. She just… sounds like that. The movie tries to play to my love of self-aware humor by acknowledging that even she doesn’t know why she sounds like this and has even tried vocal coaches to correct it, but didn’t work. Aside from the fact that this one gag wasn’t funny, Williams as a whole wasn’t funny. Comedy 101, writers, characters have to be funny before putting on a funny voice. Otherwise, that’s all they are, and that’s all that Williams is in this movie: a voice, not a character.
Of course, there the clichés. You ever see any rags-to-riches stories where the main character starts off a decent person, but upon success slowly becomes a douche bag? Well, they do that here too. Renee becomes so successful, and gets such a high off of how well she’s treated and what she can get away with that she starts turning on her friends and becomes something of a bitch to them. It’s stupid. It’s really stupid. And is it just me, or does the message of “accepting who you are and not buying into the cultural standards of what beauty should be” made a little hypocritical when the main character works for a make-up company and is constantly dolling herself up to look better than she normally does? I’m not a woman, so I can’t tell how a woman would feel about this, but I’m calling it a mixed message.
But remember, dear readers, I’m not as comfortably seated on the hate-train as seemingly everyone else is. There are a few things that I did enjoy.
Aside from this being, in my opinion, the best of Schumer’s comedic performances to date, this movie’s idea isn’t the worst, nor is it really that poorly executed. Similar to films like BIG (1988), or the Freaky Friday movies, where someone wishes for a different life than the one they have that otherwise changes their appearance, this does put a unique spin on this idea, in that the magic doesn’t really work. In that, it only works from her perspective. She sees herself as attractive, but in reality, she’s still the same. It’s kind of fun to speculate if she went crazy, or if there really was a magic that convinced her of what she was seeing. Honestly, I think it would have been a stronger message if she simply cracked and spontaneously decided that she was perfect the way she was, but this approach wasn’t bad and it did have a few fun reactions when people were otherwise not convinced of what she was seeing.
And I do like how most of the characters are positively receptive of Renee’s personal outlook. Like, her confidence in herself nets her a great job and she becomes a valued member of Avery’s marketing team. I sure thought that the movie could have expanded on this more, outside of a romantic interest, but I was happy with the balance of people who like and are confused by her self-confidence.
I do also appreciate that I didn’t really know where the movie was going to go. Okay, some things are predictable. We all know that Renee was eventually going to come out of her delusions and accept her for herself. That was obvious. But I was calling it early on that someone was going to blurt out that Renee was fat and that would snap her out of it. That’s surprisingly not the case. It was a head injury that caused her to see herself as thin, so it was another head injury that caused her to lose the “magic,” so to speak.
However, there is a pretty big hole in logic with this movie. This would likely have worked better as a period piece, or rather anything pre-selfie age. I say this because we live in a world where people with cell phones are obsessed with selfies. People will take pictures of themselves for no reason whatsoever other than they feel like it. Imagine if a self-obsessed young woman changed something about herself, you can bet your ass that she’s going to take a dozen pics in a second to flaunt her new look on social media. Yet somehow, Renee manages to skip this step in self-confidence altogether. Personally, I’m not a selfie guy. I’m not that narcissistic. However, I do have a personal fascination and desire to get my tongue split someday. When it happens (in the distant future), you can bet I’ll be posting pics and vids of me freaking everyone out. Pride in body image is a major trigger for selfies and the fact that Renee doesn’t take any and look at them is beyond me. In retrospect, this movie should have been over in a few minutes as seeing herself in a picture would have likely snapped her out of her delusions.
The movie also does that third act break-up with the love-interest and the main character mopes around in depression, but everyone knows they’re going to get back together. It’s moments like this where a movie that had the potential to be really good winds up putting no effort or creativity in its own ideas. Even the tone isn’t always consistent. You have fairly dramatic moments, like when Renee is looking in the mirror unhappily, but then there’s another scene where you have no idea if the scene is supposed to be funny or dramatic. Like when Renee snaps out of her delusions, she’s testing out if Ethan (Rory Scovel) will recognize her, but all throughout the scene, Schumer’s line delivery suggests that she’s trying to be funny, the score suggests it’s trying to be dramatic, and none of it meshes together, and the same damn thing happens when she’s trying to get back together with him in the end, making for a pair of poor scenes put together. The acting in these respective scenes are fine, but the collision of tones don’t make them work.
Overall, is the movie great? No. Is the movie good? Not really. Is the movie bad? I can’t say that. I’ve seen comedic graveyards before and Schumer’s certainly been in far worse movies. Does every joke find it’s mark? No. But some jokes did. I laughed, which is more than I can say for a lot of movies she’s been a part of. It’s got a good, but a misguided message and that’s probably the best way to describe the movie: a mixed bag. As a recommendation, I’d say this doesn’t need to be seen in theaters. Save it for a rental, at best. It’s not that bad, but don’t expect the next great comedy. I feel pretty… underwhelmed, but not disappointed.
My honest rating for I FEEL PRETTY: a weak 3/5