I Feel Pretty

I Feel Pretty marks the third leading comedy role for Amy Schumer who burst ont

o the scene with Trainwreck in 2015. Schumer seems to be actively trying to avoid becoming the latest movie star comedienne who gets cast in similar roles in different films only to burn out until the next big thing hits (i.e. Melissa McCarthy’s career). I Feel Pretty is sort of an Americanized version of the Bridget Jones. The script relies far too heavily on exaggeration whether it be good looking men ignoring Schumer’s character or the varying degrees of pratfalls. What I Feel Pretty has that the other Schumer films didn’t was Oscar nominated Michelle Williams (All the Money in the World) playing the most bizarre role in her diverse career.

“I wonder what it feels like to be undeniably pretty,” Renee Barrett (Schumer) says to a SoulCycle friend. She gets her chance after a traumatic accident in the fitness center where she bangs her head, really hard. While Renee doesn’t wake up with a new body, it’s her confidence that has changed. Renee begins treating her friends differently, she changes jobs from a behind the scenes Lily LeClaire employee to the welcoming face. Renee becomes friendly with the owners of the prestigious cosmetics company, giving struggling owner Avery LeClaire (Williams) advice on what “everyday” girls want in their makeup. However, her new confidence has its downside, as she begins to treat others how she used to be treated.

So often the script takes the jokes entirely too far, the comedy is always ruined by inevitable absurdity.

I Feel Pretty is a film that explores, highlights, and celebrates issues of self-confidence. The film starts with Schumer playing a more reserved, confidence lacking character, different from previous versions of herself. Yet she quickly reverts back to the Schumer we saw in Trainwreck or Snatched. All too often, comedians turned actors turn out to be one-trick ponies, and Schumer is certainly starting to fall into that category with her last three roles. I Feel Pretty does have some potty humor, despite being Schumer’s first PG-13 rated movie. Her “I’m wet… with diarrhea” scene ended up being one of the funniest in the movie. I did find more humor here than in Trainwreck, though the direction this film takes embraces every cliché on the planet.

So often the script takes the jokes entirely too far, the comedy is always ruined by inevitable absurdity. It’s a hokey premise that Renee, being an intelligent person, would actually believe a magical spell has changed her looks. The 1988 film Big is used here as a reference point, or Shallow Hal, for a more modern reference. I Feel Pretty’s biggest surprise is Williams doing baby voice. After singing in The Greatest Showman, and a recent Oscar nomination for Manchester by the Sea, the former Dawson’s Creek star continues to push the limits of her range. Avery LeClaire instantly becomes one of Williams most diverse and memorable roles because it’s so very unlike anything she’s done. She is the film’s selling point and its saving grace.

Final Thought

Well-earned laughs often ruined by taking the jokes too far. Michelle Williams the highlight.


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