Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Amy Schumer – Renee Bennett
Rory Scovel – Ethan
Michelle Williams – Avery LeClaire
Emily Ratajkowski – Mallory
Aidy Bryant – Vivian
Busy Philipps – Jane
Naomi Campbell – Helen
Tom Hopper – Grant LeClaire
Here we go again, Amy Schumer trying to prove her point concerning one of society’s most common topics in her own special way. This time around it’s the theme of personal image and insecurity. And she goes about it in almost Shallow Hal-type way (the difference being it’s how she sees herself not someone else). The movie plays out well enough for its duration, but there is something utterly tacky about the script and some of the story. In the beginning Schumer’s character is quite sweet, bumbling along in life with a few insecurities. The type of girl you can warm to by empathizing with her issues. She soon turns this on its head by becoming a vain pain in everyone’s arse who relentlessly goes around showing herself off. The whole thing becomes beyond tedious with the lead character drumming her newfound image into everyone she meets again and again, thus the story shows her becoming arrogant as fuck instead of appreciative.
Regarding the ‘new outlook’ I couldn’t fathom how falling off a spin class bike worked as an accident to change her entire opinion about herself. I Feel Pretty needed something different to set this story off, something slightly magical in a normal situation (think What Women Want, 2000). It works with great irony; falling from an exercise bike, knocking yourself out and waking up thinking you’re stunning. But this could have been done differently and brought on by something more mystical, especially as this turning point in the movie was followed by some amazingly implausible scenes..
What I noticed most was Renee’s reactions to her new body. She runs her hand up her arm – sliding over the same chubby curves – commenting on how perfectly toned it is. The reactions to various parts of her body continue in this ridiculous way. She can feel the same body – but thinks it has become super fit. It just doesn’t make a feasible story and is like watching an over-imaginative children’s TV show from the 80’s.
I totally get it – a bump on the head leads to the woman hallucinating – I get it. But the whole thing still seemed completely stupid. Added to this baffling situation is the reaction of her friends; not one person Renee knows delves into her dillusion or questions how she cannot see or feel the same body. No one stands her in front of a mirror and gets her to examine the same body she’s always had. They simply laugh off her newfound vanity with all the curiosity of sheep.
I couldn’t fathom how Schumer played her part with such enthusiasm. This was one hallucination too far, a woman aimlessly leading herself and her fellow ensemble towards the closing credits with almost no entertainment value. Of course the magical (if you can call it that) tale of Renee being knocked out then waking up to find she is gorgeous is enough of a daft plot to inspire viewers to watch. But the appeal ends there. This film is just another time-filler, a shabby attempt by Schumer at projecting her message that beauty comes from within. That confidence comes from how you think, not how you look. That personality overrules image. Blah, blah, fucking blah. I Feel Pretty is every feminist’s dream, and everyone else’s pretentious nightmare. It’s just not spicy enough for a thirty-something stand-up comedian to carry off and Schumer can do much better.
The only good thing about this film is the ‘be yourself’ element. Or rather – ‘be yourself regardless of how you look’. It does do good at telling people not to give a crap what other people think of them, to act confident even when you’re not. But even then I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Still, the message is clear – let your personality shine through whether or not you look good. Then again, none of us arrived in this world because our parents looked at each other and thought, “ewww” did we?
As I was looking I Feel Pretty up on Google, I found the following picture:
Well that’s not good!
A step down the ladder for Schumer compared to comedy hit Trainwreck, this film is one to be left on the shelf – like her character ironically. This is travel material; an in-flight movie you’d watch whilst crossing the Atlantic. Or something you’d find playing randomly on the TV on a coach journey. Certainly not something worthy of your DVD collection.
I thought I would enjoy I Feel Pretty, but exited the cinema no different to when I went in. The bland humour and basic structure just didn’t do it for me. Still, some of you out there will enjoy it. I hope.