VOD Review: I Feel Pretty
I decided to make a make-up call to Amy Schumer and watch her made up movie about a make-up company receptionist who gets made to feel pretty and makes out a lot. Phew.
I have a confession to make. I’ve theater-hopped. I know, such a shameful act for one ostensibly working in the entertainment business. I blame MoviePass, something that is becoming both easy and socially acceptable to do. A while back, I was all set to watch a hot new Bollywood film. If you don’t know which one just look to the right, it’s been our #1 post for quite some time. Well, MoviePass reneged on it’s promise to let me see this movie. So I thought, “Well that sucks. I wonder which movie is in the theater directly across from this film, so I can accidentally wander into the wrong theater after returning from the restroom?”. That film, my friends, was I Feel Pretty.
Out of some deep sense of guilt, Because RedBox was having a rent one, get one free sale when I took a certain Party Bus to Hell, I decided to atone and actually watch the 2018 Amy Schumer comedy. I liked her work on “Inside Amy Schumer”, and I had yet to see her on the big screen. Let’s just say that I made the right choice watching an overblown Bollywood film.
I Feel Pretty (2018)
Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer) is stuck in a rut. She’s working for her dream company… in IT… in an off-site facility that might as well be a broom closet. Her dream is to be neck deep in beauty as the receptionist at LeClair Cosmetic’s central NYC branch. The problem is, she isn’t “LeClair Material”… an impossible standard of beauty that constantly chips away at Renee’s sense of self-worth. One fateful night, Renee gets inspiration from the film “Big” and wishes she were pretty. Nothing happens. Resigned to making a change the new-fashioned/old-fashioned way, she goes to her morning spin class. There she promptly gives herself a concussion.
The concussion leaves Renee with the delusion that she now possesses super-model looks. This change in outlook coincides with LeClair deciding it needs to branch out into “value brand” cosmetics, and Renee is the perfect woman for job. While the rest of the world still sees Renee’s body for what it actually is, her limitless confidence has her winning friends and influencing people.
I Feel Pretty defies categorization. It’s not a Rom-Com. It’s not a Raunch-Com. It is also not a serious polemic on society. I don’t think that’s due to any brave stance this film’s writers or directors had against being pegged. Rather, it’s because I Feel Pretty is bland.
It pursues social commentary right until Renee gets conked on the head, veering away from one of the better segments of the film. The resigned chagrin in Amy Schumer’s character when she interrogates a fellow spinner about how fun and exciting life is when you’re that beautiful was almost poignant. Then the film proceeds into a Big (the movie) tale of a confident, outside-the-box thinker tearing up the company ladder. Then there’s a romantic interest and just a skosh of sexy/raunchy play. Lastly we kinda get a moral to the story (hint: it’s be yourself, if yourself is confident and funny).
None of it sticks around long enough to be the theme, and none of it is done well. It’s only touching once, I only laughed once, and the rest was done better… in Big.
I Feel Pretty.. Much Nothing
Everything else is just kind of… there… as well. The soundtrack won’t be blowing up the Billboard charts, the cinematography was standard, and all the other actors are just there to reflect Schumer’s energy. Such as it is. Amy doesn’t go Chris Farley level into the body humor, and she doesn’t have the biting, say anything wit she showed in her sketch comedy show. She’s just.. nice. I liked her character in the first half, I didn’t buy the semi-heel turn towards the end, and the final resolution almost left her character less interesting than when she started.
I can’t see who is going to walk away from I Feel Pretty satisfied. Fans of her show or Train Wreck are going to get a fairly toned down Schumer. Women looking for a film that shows solidarity and acceptance of having a normal body are most likely going to find this story mealy mouthed. And anyone looking for solid, consistent laughs are going to want to go see a Bollywood film that has tanks doing synchronized maneuvers set to Indian Rock Music.