Review: “I Feel Pretty”

Maya Morriswala, Jr. managing editor

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In today’s day and age, I appreciate when a movie comes out with a powerful, feminist message, but unfortunately, “I Feel Pretty” cannot seem to stay on that message.

Renee Barrett (Amy Schumer) is an insecure woman who, after going to a SoulCycle class and knocking herself out, suddenly becomes self-confident, believing that she is beautiful. The catch is that unlike other “body swap” kind of movies, Renee still looks the same as before the accident –– the only thing that changed was her mindset.

However, the problem with this kind of narrative is that while the intentions are in the right place, Renee should not have needed to suffer a concussion to realize that she was beautiful. Also, Schumer is not at all unattractive and may only be deemed so under impossible Hollywood standards. This is only the beginning of the movie’s issues, though.

Even when the film had the opportunity to use Renee’s newfound confidence to give her some high aspirations, Renee’s highest goal was to become to receptionist at a cosmetic company called Lily LeClaire. Instead of aiming high to become the company’s CEO or even trying receive a better job than her current one, she wants to get an entry-level position that is based, in her eyes, on a woman’s beauty.

Don’t get me wrong, though. The movie does have funny moments in scenes with Renee and her new boyfriend, played by comedian Rory Scovel, or in her interactions with her friends. The movie also did a great job playing on stereotypes, but they were sometimes overused. The message in Renee’s speech at the end is also very powerful and impactful, but sadly the speech was used to sell the diffusion line of Lily LeClaire.

This completely conflicts with the message the film is trying to make. The film claims that it is trying to convey that self-confidence is more important than physical beauty, but in one particular scene, the movie throws this all out the window. In this scene, Renee participates in a bikini contest with other, very skinny, women. Renee uses her self-esteem and confidence to make herself stand out, but in the end, she still loses. This proves that even the movie itself does not believe in the message it is trying to convey.

Thus, even though the movie had its witty moments aided by Schumer’s great acting, the rest of the movie fell painstakingly short in the writing department. “I Feel Pretty” gets a B- for effort and its attempt at championing a feminist message. Maybe if the film was directed and written by someone else, the movie would become something more than a skin-deep comedy.

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