1 hour 50 minutes
Feeling the need for a bit of comedic relief, I spent a rainy Sunday afternoon in the theater this past
Directed and written by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein of the “He’s Just Not That Into You” fame, the movie features Schumer as Renee Bennet as well as Rory Scovel as Ethan (her love interest) and Michelle Williams as Avery LeClaire (her boss at a cosmetic company).
“I Feel Pretty” is the story of Renee, who struggles with insecurity over her appearance. She works in a basement office managing a website for an upscale cosmetic company (LeClaire). She declines to apply for a receptionist position for that company after reading the job description's emphasis on being the beautiful "face" of LeClaire.
One night, she makes a wish to be beautiful. The next day, while she is exercising in her evening spin-class, she experiences a humiliating accident where she falls off the stationery bike. The fall causes a major “head-knock” on the floor, and as a result, Renee suddenly believes that she’s been upgraded to a flawless super-beauty.
The only thing that’s changed is how she sees herself. No physical change has taken place. Her new viewpoint puzzles others as she begins acting like a world-class diva, mistaking construction-workers’ whistles and fun banter with complete strangers as proof of just how “hot” she has become.
When I watched the previews of this movie, I remembered the 1999 comedy, “Shallow Hal” (staring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black). I enjoyed that film and laughed through a majority of the lighthearted but spot-on-way we, as a society, view the beauty of women. I wondered if this comedy would mimic the “Shallow Hal” slant in some way.
It did. The difference was that in “Shallow Hal,” the changed perception was in the man’s view of a woman’s beauty. This film presented it from the woman’s point of view.
However, I must admit that I didn’t find this movie quite as funny as “Shallow Hal.” However, it must be noted that in 1999, I was almost 20 years younger than I am now. That may have an impact on what I find funny in the present moment when it comes to the true beauty of women.
I found the movie both irritating and amusing. Irritating because we haven’t progressed much in terms of what we identify as women’s beauty. Amusing because we are still human – and are really messy about how we go about living life. The movie does a great job reflecting that.