I Feel Pretty

Renee (Amy Schumer), a later, twenty something who lives in New York City. She works in a small division Lily LeClaire, a high end beauty product company. From a tiny ramshackle office, she dreams and one day working at the glamorous HQ in downtown Manhattan. She finds out that there is a position available, but she does not think that she is good enough to get the job.

In her quest to look better and feel better, she enrolls in Soul Cycle class at her neighborhood gym. Within minutes, she had injured herself and her pride. Smarting from the injury, we see her looking into the mirror with disdain and self loathing. Schumer conveys the discomfort, embarrassment and self-doubt that every one of us have felt at some point in our lives.

Renee does not give up, going to class the second day. In her enthusiasm, she forgets to tighten a bolt and is taken down by the bike. The event immediately changes how she looks at herself, immediately seeing her visage as everything she would want. The film highlights the all human issue of self-confidence, struggles of imperfection with our bodies and our overall self image, how our own perceptions are our own mental constructs than reality.

Schumer is able to convey the negative thoughts we all have felt about ourselves when we don’t like how we look. However, externally, the self negativity is not noticed.. We can be own worst critic and take down our own self esteem without the help of bullies. Even though Renee’s self image is altered by an accident, her humor, intelligence doesn’t change, her extraverted confidence shines the light directly on her attitude.

There were some moments where I expected a makeover montage. Cause, good 80’s alternative soundtrack and it’s a film about a woman’s lack of self esteem. Surprisingly, it was devoid of any fancy changing room quick changes. The movie addressed how we all have moments where our levels of self confidence and self esteem are reduced due to our own ideas because we all can be our own worst critic.

The story had its moments where I would have liked to see more depth and connection in Renee’s relationships with her best friends Vivian (Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Phillips). These are friends that have known each other for years and I would have like to see a little of the psychic shorthand friends develop over years of knowing each other. I did like how Vivian and Jane didn’t let Renee get away with behaving as an ass. They are not mean in their rejection which is more true to honest friendships.

Amy Schumer’s humor at times can make us a bit uncomfortable because she holds the mirror up to us to teach us how to laugh at ourselves and to show that we are not alone in all these feelings. I enjoyed the movie, even though it would have been good to see more depth in the relationships. It is a perfect Girls Night Out film.

3.5 out of 5 Stars

Second Review By Jeniffer Gomez-Pabon

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In I Feel Pretty Amy Schumer stars as Renee, a 30ish New Yorker who believes she’s doomed to a life of low-grade disappointment who struggles with feelings of deep insecurity and low self-esteem that hold her back every day. Until one day, Renee wakes up from a brutal fall in a SoulCycle class, which leaves her magically (or at least concussively) transformed: Gazing back at her from the mirror is the knockout she’s always longed to be.

Suddenly the girl who felt ignored in bars, humiliated by YouTube hair tutorials, and stonewalled at work has unleashed her inner goddess; no man can resist her, no carb can harm her, she is just fearless!

With her newfound confidence, she even meets a nice guy Ethan (Rory Scovel) and works her way into a front-desk reception job at high-end cosmetics company called Lily LeClair — home of her idol, the CEO of the company Avery, a breathy, brilliant Michelle Williams, who looks like a sun-starved Barbie and talks like a sexy toddler. Williams steals nearly every scene she’s in.

But Renee’s new persona also alienates her from her two happily ordinary best friends, played by Busy Philipps and SNL’s Aidy Bryant, who is hilarious as usual.

I believe the trailer doesn’t do the movie any favors, and abbreviates the message the movie is trying to communicate to audiences (and specifically women). Strangely, the movie isn’t about being “pretty” at all.

Sure, looks and appearance come up regularly, just like in real life, but I Feel Pretty is more about self-confidence, and the illusion that projects on other peoples’ perceptions. The movie starts off with Renee being ignored at the bar when she asks for a drink, and she’s mistaken for a man (yes, totally ridiculous) at a drugstore. Even a baby cries when she tries to smile at it.

Playing a character with self-esteem issues allows Schumer some genuinely dramatic moments. In an early scene, she comes home to her cramped Chinatown apartment after a night out with her girlfriends, strips down to her ill-fitting bra and flesh-colored Spanx and sadly surveys what she sees in the full-length mirror. This is not body shaming; this is a sensation every woman has experienced countless times in her life, regardless of her shape or how others might perceive her.

The movie is funny, emotional and empowering, there are plenty of laughs. For the first half of the movie Renee simply can’t do anything right. The audience was roughly 80 per cent women, and the laughs were genuine and continuous, it is the perfect movie for a girl’s night out, just sit down and enjoy it after a few drinks.

3.5 of 5