"Comical Delusion Leads to Lessons Learned"
I FEEL PRETTY is a funny comedy starring Amy Schumer as an overweight woman working for a cosmetics company, who accidentally hits her head, starts to believe she’s beautiful and thin, and begins rising up the corporate ladder. I FEEL PRETTY is an uplifting, feel-good comedy about not judging yourself and other people by their outward appearances, but it’s rated PG-13, so there’s excessive foul language, a racy bedroom scene and other brief content that warrant strong caution.
In the movie, Amy Schumer plays Renee Bennett, an office worker at a fancy cosmetic firm who struggles with feelings of insecurity because of her weight. Renee desperately wants to be pretty and work at the corporate headquarters downtown instead of the dingy office where she works with a sullen overweight man named Mason, who doesn’t want to interact with anyone.
One night during a thunderstorm, Renee watches BIG, the comedy starring a young Tom Hanks about a young teenage boy who wants to be an adult. She goes outside to throw a coin in a fountain and wish to be pretty. The next morning, she goes to a self-help exercise class at the local workout gym. The teacher hurls personal affirmation bromides at the students while Renee peddles furiously on an exercise pike. Suddenly, Renee falls off the bike and hits her head twice when her hair gets caught in another bike’s spokes. When she wakes up, Renee mistakenly thinks her wish the night before came true, and she’s now beautiful and thin.
Renee’s delusion gives her a tremendous sense of self-confidence and charisma. It also makes her extremely assertive and personable. She starts going out with a quiet nice-looking young man she met at the dry cleaners and lands the receptionist job at her cosmetic firm’s headquarters.
Fortunately for Renee, the company’s about to launch a new line for everyday women who shop at places like Target and Walmart. Her bosses, including the founder’s beautiful granddaughter, who struggles with self-confidence issues of her own because of her tiny voice, are impressed by Renee’s advice about reaching such women. So, Renee goes from receptionist to sought-after fashion consultant.
However, Renee’s new attitude causes her to become a bit conceited and results in feelings of pity for her two plain-looking friends. This leads to a falling out, but Renee is oblivious to the reasons behind her friends’ sudden antipathy toward her.
So, what will happen when Renee realizes her appearance has never really changed? Will she be able to keep her great new job and get back her two best friends?
I FEEL PRETTY isn’t quite hilarious, but it’s often very funny and poignant, with a strong story structure. The movie is partly a romantic comedy about a man or woman’s complicated relationship with a potential paramour. It’s also an individual comedy in the tradition of the old silent movie comics like Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin, and their modern counterparts, such as Jerry Lewis, Woody Allen and Lucille Ball, where the comedy comes from the comic hero or heroine’s awkward interactions with society at large, including different parts of society. Either way, it’s a pretty classic plot and formula, but the filmmakers do a good job making sure the story and characters aren’t too stale or too predictable.
In this case, as the heroine gains more confidence and becomes more relaxed, whether false or not, she becomes more assertive but also more conceited. This creates some great comic tension and conflict. The movie’s ultimate message and advice to viewers, though, is not to judge yourself and others by outward appearance, but to be the person you were created to be. At the same time, the movie warns viewers not to become so assertive and full of yourself that you run roughshod over other people. That’s what Renee does to her long-time friends when she starts to pity them.
An interesting thing happens to Renee near the end of the movie. When she learns that a beautiful woman she befriended at the workout gym just got dumped by her boyfriend, she realizes that having good looks, or being super rich and wealthy, or being super talented, doesn’t guarantee happiness all the time. Nor does it mean that bad or unjust things will never happen to you. Instead, the measure of your character depends on how you get back up after you’ve been knocked down.
Though I FEEL PRETTY isn’t rated R like Amy Schumer’s previous comedies, it still has excessive foul language, including many light profanities. There’s also a racy bedroom scene, a scene where the revitalized Renee enters a bikini contest and does a crazy dance, and other brief content that might be considered crude, lewd or borderline content.
Consequently, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution, depending on the age and maturity level of potential viewers for I FEEL PRETTY.
I FEEL PRETTY is a funny, poignant comedy. Amy Schumer plays Renee Bennett, who works at a fancy cosmetic firm and struggles with insecurity because of her weight. Renee desperately wants to be pretty. One night, she wishes at a fountain to be beautiful. The next day, she accidentally hits her head at the gym and wakes up believing her wish came true, so she’s now beautiful and thin. Renee’s delusion gives her personal self-confidence, charisma and assertiveness. Good things start to happen, but what will happen when she realizes her appearance hasn’t really changed?
I FEEL PRETTY isn’t quite hilarious, but it’s often very funny and poignant, with a strong structure. Amy Schumer is a hoot as the comic heroine who learns valuable lessons about not judging yourself and other people by outward appearances and about treating all people with respect and kindness. Though I FEEL PRETTY isn’t rated R like Schumer’s previous comedies, it still has excessive foul language. There’s also a racy bedroom scene, brief suggestive dancing, and some off-color innuendoes. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.