Plot: Renee (Amy Schumer) has a decent job, some great friends, and seems to have a solid lifestyle, but she dreams of so much more. She works for a high end cosmetics label, but she is in the website division and she wants to be in the middle of all the glamour and social circles. As she sees beautiful women with gorgeous bodies, she obsesses over what she sees as her physical imperfections and she is certain that is she were beautiful, the world would be hers. After she falls off an exercise bike during an inspirational mantra from the class leader, Renee awakens and realizes she is different. A look in the mirror confirms that she is now the beautiful woman she has always wanted to be, even though she looks the same to everyone else. Now emboldened with confidence, Renee sets out to make all of her dreams come true, but will she achieve all those goals or is just suffering from a concussion?
Entertainment Value: I Feel Pretty has a well worn premise, as someone is given the chance to experience the life they’ve always dreamed of, but of course, things aren’t simple as expected. The movie does little to subvert the premise’s conventions, but manages to be better than it should be, thanks to some sharp dialogue and a bold performance from lead Amy Schumer. The narrative looks at body image and how social expectations can distort how women see themselves, which is a noble approach, even if it falls apart in the finale. But up to that point, I think the material is more heartfelt and effective than most would assume. The humor is brash and over the top at times, to be sure, but I Feel Pretty nails some poignant, universal moments as well, such as when Renee surveys herself in a mirror. So while the movie is basic and predictable in premise, the execution shines at times and manages to do so while also offering some hilarious sequences. Schumer goes all out in the lead and shows incredible comic presence, not to mention fearlessness, which is harnessed to pull off some super fun, even inspirational moments. Michelle Williams is also fantastic, stealing scenes left and right as an eccentric cosmetics heir. I found this movie to be much funnier and effective than I ever expected, despite a horrible choice in how to conclude things that negates most of the positive vibes established. Even so, I Feel Pretty is a good time and features some terrific performances.
No nakedness. The movie has frequent sexual references and a humorous seduction scene, which ends in a way only Schumer could pull off, as it is so awkward and cringe inducing, but hilarious. A little blood, but not enough to score a point and we just see some trickles after a couple of Renee’s head injuries. The dialogue is outlandish, random, and almost always riotous. I think the banter is where the movie really shines, as it produces so many laugh out loud moments, often by sheer awkwardness or on point comic timing. Schumer has most of the big money lines and she makes the most of those windows, turning in some of the best work of her career. Williams also has some great moments, delivered in deadpan, but hilarious fashion. This one is loaded with super fun exchanges and banter, performed with great comedic skill by this colorful cast. On the craziness front, we have a lot of wackiness, often centered on how awkward Renee is or her wild antics after her head injuries. The dialogue is so wild at times, it earns some points as well. So while I Feel Pretty isn’t an off the rails, insane ride, it packs in a lot of wacky, memorable moments.
Overall Insanity: 4/10