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“I Feel Pretty” Feels Strong in Message, Weak in Laughter
April 25, 2018
Feeling pretty and being funny is hard for this comedy
Amy Schumer stars as Renee Bennett, a woman who feels insecure about herself because she wishes to be beautiful. She aspires to look like Mallory (Emily Ratajkowski), who doesn’t have problems with insecurities because of her looks and how guys try to get her number.
The film starts with Schumer going to cycling class and from the start her insecurity is recognizable as she is surrounded by women she considers to be more beautiful than her. As soon as she gets to her cycle, she rips her pants after her seat gives on her and she goes home.
We see Bennett at work in a basement for a fashion business called Lily Le Claire with her awkward coworker, Mason (Adrian Martinez). She rants about how it’s unfair that all the beautiful people get to work in the nicer office while she and Mason work underground. Then one day a mishap at work causes Bennett to deliver something to the office in person.
Avery Le Claire (Michelle Williams) is the granddaughter of the owner of the business. When Le Claire talks, to her own ears, her voice is irritating. She admits that she’s insecure about her voice, even going so far as to take voice lessons to change it.
Eventually, we meet her two best friends, Vivian (SNL’s Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Philipps). Renee goes on another rant about beautiful women and dating sites. She is on a dating site when she notices pictures of beautiful women and what guys expect to match in real life. She goes to another cycling class and gets so motivated while she’s on the cycle, she loses her grip and hits her head. When she wakes up, her confidence has spiked. She dresses nicer than she did before, develops a different stride in her walk, and even has a major change in the way she interacts with people.
In the middle of her newfound confidence, she meets Ethan (Rory Scovel) who is nervous to go on a date with her at first but ends up being blown away at the kind of person she is. The chemistry between Schumer and Scovel feels real but at the same time, there’s no laughs coming from them. It felt like a bit of an attempt at being a film that was directed by Judd Apatow (“The 40 Year Old Virgin,” and “Knocked Up”). At some point in the film, she loses sight at who she really is and hits her head again and is back to feeling insecure again and must learn where the confidence came from.
This film has a strong message about confidence and feeling good about yourself, but the unfortunate part is that it’s a comedy but with hardly any laughs to be given. Despite the film’s many weaknesses and the strong point in its message, there are a few other strong points as well. Schumer’s performance feels relatable and real because everyone has insecurities about their personal image. Ethan tries to get her to notice her own beauty and not compare herself to anyone else.
Another strong point is Michelle Williams. As Avery Le Claire, she shines as this beautiful woman whose flaw is her voice but in the short scenes that she’s in, she steals the show. Despite that her character isn’t exactly the same as Renee, Williams proves once again, no matter what genre, that she’s a strong performer. She even manages to hold her own when the comedy hits.
The film has well written characters for the story but the comedy doesn’t fit. If it was a dramatic film with comedic moments, maybe it would work better and the awkward comedy wouldn’t be trying so hard.