“I’ve always wondered what it feels like to be just undeniably pretty.” Renee Barrett (Amy Schumer)
Amy Schumer is re-defining the idea of what pretty is in her latest comedy about a woman who just wants to be looked at for who she is, and does an exceptional job in the process.
Schumer stars as Renee, a woman who works as an off-location online advertising coördinator in the shadows of a high-class makeup empire, LeClaire. She dreams of being in the forefront of the fashion world rather than hidden in a building in Chinatown, but her low self-esteem keeps her from reaching for it. Meanwhile, her friends (Busy Phillips, Aidy Bryant) love her for who she is, though Renee is blinded by the one thing that all women struggle with — her body image. While in a spin class, she hysterically falls off the bike and bumps her head, causing her to think that she suddenly changed on the outside. With a new persona, Renee now has a new confidence, which helps her land her dream job as receptionist for LeClaire, but it is her attitude and beauty expertise that Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams) falls in love with and leads her to give Renee the job, not her appearance like she thinks.
Overall, the movie does an exceptional job. It is hilarious as Schumer drops one joke after the other, awkwardly navigating through the world of beauty unaware that people are looking at her not for her looks, but for her talents. In addition, the chemistry between Schumer and Williams mesh well together and really brings out Williams’ talent for facial expression, which shows the audience that, even though Schumer is making jokes about the change in her, it is a different change that is what is appealing to her friends and coworkers. Specifically in the scene when Williams first encounters Schumer, though everyone else is judging her, it is Williams’ silent expression that shows the burst of confidence. It is that confidence that Schumer portrays wonderfully and is a great message for today’s women and girls in order to be confident in their own body.
Set in the Chinatown section of NYC, those who know the city will feel comforted in seeing it accurately portrayed, though the story itself could have taken place in any part of the United States, even California, as when I watched it, I kept wondering if it was LA or New York. Even that thought, though, doesn’t take away from the movie.
The directors, Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, as well did an exceptional job in helming this film. It is similar to their former collaboration Never Been Kissed, where Josie (Drew Barrymore) struggles with the same body image issues to go undercover for her job in order to accurately portray teenagers in high school. The duo has a knack for bringing a piece of work that touches the audience and makes them think about what we are doing to kids that gives them these false perceptions.
Verdict: 5 out of 5
Despite the looming title, which I feel does not do the film ample justice, I Feel Pretty is a film that is meant to give new meaning to the word pretty. It allows women to be comfortable in their own body and has a sense of innocence similar to what one feels as a child, before the body image takes over. Rated PG 13, I Feel Pretty is moderately safe for mid-teenage girls to see. There is a brief nudity scene but nothing terribly revealing. What the film does do is give girls the confidence to be who they want to be regardless of what they look like. It highlights the message that “I am beautiful”.