Not a train wreck, certainly, but far inferior to her incredible “Trainwreck,” “I Feel Pretty” is a serviceable Amy Schumer comedy that takes an all-too-obvious turn toward its finale in a show that’s more sitcom than feature film.
Renee Bennett (Schumer) is woman with whom many women can relate. She tries the best she can to gain confidence, but she struggles in so many situations, from a chance encounter with a fellow in a store to simply ordering a beer in a crowded bar.
At one point, she decides she will exercise. After she falls and conks her head during the session, she wakes up and sees herself as a gorgeous woman when she looks in the mirror.
Suddenly, she oozes confidence — so much so that she meets a man (Rory Scovel) in a dry-cleaning establishment who becomes her boyfriend. And she also dares to apply as a receptionist at a luxurious cosmetics company, where she becomes the darling of the family that runs the company (real-life model Lauren Hutton plays the company matriarch, with Michelle Williams as her granddaughter who runs the daily operations).
Her best friends (Busy Philipps and Aidy Bryant) aren’t sure what has gotten into Renee. Eventually, they are horrified when she begins to condescend to them.
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Part of the reason this doesn’t pack the punch that “Trainwreck” did is that it wasn’t written by Schumer. Screenwriters/directors Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein have come up with enough clever lines for Schumer to deliver a few laughs. They also wisely let us see Schumer herself, rather than the woman her character sees, at all times.
At first, I giggled at the over-exuberant Renee, who shocks those around her with her newfound effervescence. Then I began to think it wasn’t so funny, because the joke still remains on Renee, who blissfully enters a bikini contest and misinterprets remarks from the people around her. Essentially, the movie asks: How dare a woman who isn’t a classic beauty have confidence in herself, or think that she’s pretty?
All the major players turn in enjoyable performances. Schumer, as always, has great comedic timing — no one could look more apprehensive in a gym setting than she does, to great effect. Also, it was nice to see Hutton along with model Naomi Campbell.
The silly, predictable ending does emphasize the message that “We’re all in this together” and that women of all sizes face the same kinds of life issues.
The script talks out of both sides of its mouth, if you will, in this movie that’s sure to stir conversation about what it’s really trying to say.