This is a strong week for releases, so under no circumstances should you see I Feel Pretty. Its reference points are Just My Luck, Shallow Hal, and The Devil Wears Prada, in that order. It amalgamates set ups and milieus from older films but brings nothing original to the table.
The dubious premise problematically only works if the audience are willing to body shame Amy Schumer from the outset. I Feel Pretty is as image-obsessed as its protagonist, and (as the extras demonstrate) just as beholden to unrealistic standards of female beauty.
Schumer’s involvement is completely baffling. I Feel Pretty feels like the compromised sell-out of an actor pursuing fame and success or the desperate comeback of a cash-poor has-been, and therefore makes absolutely no sense just a few years after Trainwreck.
Schumer, though, does what she can, and essentially plays two roles. There’s the insecure, self-loathing Renee, recognisable for her faltering voice and slumped, defeated shoulders, and the more familiar brash Amy persona, brimful of confidence. Though the introduction of Renee and her insecurities is briefly relatable, Schumer is clearly more at home playing the unrulier version – who is of course more fun to watch, though just barely. I Feel Pretty is far too concerned with peddling sentimental and patronising ‘lessons’ to actually be funny, aside from some physical comedy that draws laughter from shock factor alone.
Michelle Williams gives an absurdly entertaining performance, playing against type and far outside her indie character actress niche, though this is really just one joke stretched to feature length.
I Feel Pretty is an underdeveloped, underwritten concept plumped with lacklustre montage and set pieces. Its values are at best clichéd and at worst offensive, its jokes rarely amusing and its attempted endorsement of body positivity and female confidence extremely flawed.
CAST: Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Amy Schumer, Busy Philipps
DIRECTORS: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
WRITERS: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
SYNOPSIS: A woman struggling with insecurity wakes from a fall believing she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. Her new confidence empowers her to live fearlessly, but what happens when she realizes her appearance never changed?