#REVIEW: “I FEEL PRETTY”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
I FEEL PRETTY has a lovely set of bookends. When we first meet Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer) as she goes about her daily routines, her deep-rooted insecurities start to emerge. Her interactions in the outside world are fraught with less than positive experiences. She’s ignored by the bartender for the prettier clientele. She makes a baby cry when she makes funny faces. Even her workplace, where she’s an IT specialist for a lifestyle glamour magazine catering to the thin, rich and beautiful, is situated in a ramshackle building which is far removed from the extravagant head office.
Schumer shines in these establishing scenes, showing a vulnerability and pathos one does not usually associate with her. One particularly spectacular moment in this Movie has her undress in front of a full length mirror, exposing a spanxed–to-death curvaceous body and we wish she could see what we, the audience, see…a pretty, apple-cheeked sweetie. The ending bookmark, where Renee is a confident, assured woman also shows Schumer’s talents as an actress.
If only everything in the middle of I FEEL PRETTY was as captivating as these bookends, this could have been the feel-good Movie of the year.
Determined to change the parts of her that she is unhappy with, Renee joins a gym. Surviving an embarrassing set of questions from the receptionist when asking for a size 13, double-wide shoe and inspired by the instructor, Renee goes full throttle and winds up falling off the exercise bike, hitting her head quite severely. When she regains consciousness, she no longer sees Renee in the ignorant that, she has gained a self-assured, vainglorious, and confident persona. She gets the job as receptionist for the magazine she worked for, which is managed by Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams with a voice that sounds like Minnie Mouse on helium!) and run by her grandmother, ex-supermodel Lily LeClaire (played gloriously by the fashion world’s first true supermodel Lauren Hutton). Renee’s BFFs (Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps) are confused and unamused by the new Renee, especially when she has been spending more time with a new man she had met.
I FEEL PRETTY confused me as I don’t think the Writers had a firm grasp who Renee Bennett was when she saw herself as equal to the beautiful women she interacted with (which include Emily Ratajkowski and Naomi Campbell). She was either brilliantly business savvy or supremely ignorant and judgmental of her friends. I wasn’t sure if I was even supposed to like the new Renee. But there is one fatal flaw in this Movie. Despite solid performances by all the Supporting Cast, especially from Williams who always made me break out in a smile when she was on-screen, the laughs in I FEEL PRETTY are very far and very few in between and I wanted so much to be that hilarious, edgy, empowering Comedy.
eOne Films release I FEEL PRETTY Friday, April 22, 2018.