I FEEL PRETTY (M)
LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING ... AND OFTEN NOT THAT FUNNY DIRECTOR: ABBY KOHN, MARC SILVERSTEIN
STARRING: AMY SCHUMER, MICHELLE WILLIAMS, BUSY PHILIPPS, RORY SCOVEL, EMILY RATAJKOWSKI
When the trailer dropped for I Feel
Pretty a few months ago, things got ugly pretty quickly. Amy Schumer, the star of what most had assumed would be a kind of dopey, rather harmless comedy, took a lot of the heat.
On social media, you could hear the pitchforks jabbing the air as one while Schumer was accused of being a fat-shaming, pro-beauty-myth traitor to her gender.
Of course, that is not really the case at all. I Feel Pretty is, for the most part, kind of dopey, and rather harmless as far as comedies go.
However, the problem with the trailer is still there in the feature-length incarnation of the movie. It is all to do with an ideologically shonky premise, seemingly celebrating the healing power of hotness.
Anyone experiencing a debilitating case of notness won’t be nominating I Feel Pretty as their feel-good movie of the year, that’s for sure.
The gist of the movie is that Schumer plays Renee, a woman in her mid-thirties carrying around dangerously high levels of low self- esteem until ... wait for it ... she falls off an exercise bike and hits her head.
That gnarly knock on the noggin triggers a selective form of amnesia that allows Renee to forget all about thinking so little of herself.
Now when she looks in a mirror, Renee no longer loathes what she sees. Instead, the reflection she cannot stop gazing at is the most irresistible beauty in the whole of Boston.
As if to prove looks are indeed everything, Renee is suddenly exuding the carefree, allconquering self-confidence of an international supermodel. So here we have the one overriding joke of
I Feel Pretty: Renee looks exactly like she did before she clunked her cranium. That ‘beauty’ she sees is all in her mind.
You get it? The poor woman doesn’t realise she is still a sorta-plus-size plain Jane! She’s completely oblivious to the fact she is not a ravishing stunner! You get it? You get it? Yeah, we all get it. Nevertheless, the creative team behind I Feel Pretty keep hardselling the soft notion that a supposedly ‘unattractive’ woman mistakenly thinking she is attractive is the height of hilarity.
To be fair, I Feel Pretty never reaches the state of evil, body-negative denial that the first outcry on social media predicted.
More than anything, it is guilty of being not all that funny, or properly thought out.
RORY SCOVEL AND AMY SCHUMER IN A SCENE FROM NEW COMEDY I FEEL PRETTY.