PLOT- Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer) works in the online department for high-end beauty brand, LeClaire cosmetics. Renee works in a small, satellite office, but dreams of working in the corporate headquarters, where everyone, including the receptionists, look like super models. Renee sees that there is an opening for a receptionist position and even though it would be a career downgrade, she decides to apply. Renee's super-low self-esteem makes her think that if she were only physically beautiful, that her life would be better, and that if she can't be beautiful, that be around beauty is the next best thing.
Shortly before her interview, Renee attends a Soul Cycle class and has an accident where she sustains a head injury. Her injury gives her the illusion that she has transformed into a physically gorgeous woman. It fills her with extreme self-confidence, so much confidence that she comes across as quirky. Renee nails the interview and also starts to date a man, Ethan (Rory Scovel) whom she meets while picking up her dry cleaning. How long will this affliction last? What will happen, when Renee realizes that nothing has changed?
LIKE- I have to confess that I did not intend on seeing I Feel Pretty, but it happened to be the only film playing within a good time frame as I waited to pick up my husband from the airport. As you might know, I'll never turn down the opportunity to go to a movie. Any movie. I've watched several episodes of Inside Amy Schumer and sometimes I enjoy her comedy. She's very hit and miss. I had medium-low expectations for I Feel Pretty.
A major theme is that confidence is attractive. Renee's confidence is so extreme that it turns quirky, but still, the general idea is solid. Renee gets the job and finds a boyfriend, not because she has physically changed, but because she has self-confidence that attracts people. There is a scene where Renee decides to become a last minute entry into a bikini contest at a bar. She is older and far less toned than any of the other contestants, but that is not an issue for her, as she is sure that she is just as physically beautiful as anyone else on the stage. Ethan is sure she is going to fail, but soon realizes that Renee's confidence has won over the crowd.
Another theme is that practically everyone has some type of self-esteem issue, aka- don't judge a book by its cover. The CEO of LeClaire Cosmetics is Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams), the granddaughter of the founder. Avery is stunning and glamorous, but she talks with a baby voice that she has tried to shake with vocal coaching. It makes her nervous to speak in public, even though she is very intelligent and has graduated from the Wharton Business School. She knows that her voice makes people take her less seriously.
I liked the ensemble cast for I Feel Pretty. I love Williams and it was fun to see her in a role that wasn't serious. Fashion icon, Lauren Hutton is very fittingly cast as her grandmother, Lily LeClaire. Aidy Bryant and Busy Philipps are wonderful as Renee's supportive friends, also lending themselves to some of the better comedic moments. I even got a small crush on Scovel, who is the perfect rom-com love interest. Sasheer Zamata is funny as the snarky Soul Cycle employee.
DISLIKE- I Feel Pretty sends a very mixed message, which gets a little more muddled the more I consider it.
When Renee moves into the role of receptionist, she quickly proves that she is an asset to LeClaire Cosmetics. Avery values Renee's input regarding a new line that they are launching; a line aimed at "every day" women and women who shop at big box stores. The idea that Avery notices Renee and values her is played up, because it is thought that LeClaire Cosmetics is too snobby for the average consumer. So Renee is tapped to help with the campaign, and of course she does and it's a huge success. Renee is commended for her work on the campaign and Avery is commended for taking a chance on Renee. On the surface, it looks like women helping women.Renee takes the lead on a big public speaking engagement, which had terrified Avery. Avery saw talent in Renee. However, when all is said and done, what has changed? Renee is the only "non-model" person working for LeClaire Cosmetics in a visible role and has the idea of what constitutes beauty shifted? Has anything changed? Renee is boxed into the role of the "average woman" and LeClaire Cosmetics is still a high-end brand for "non-average women."
This is a Rom-Com, so I'm not expecting anything deep, but the end has a fluffy, cotton candy message about beauty being everywhere that doesn't amount to much. It is the expected ending, but it also rings false. Renee's lack of self-esteem is the antagonist in the story and she beats her antagonist. Renee's defeat of her self-esteem issues comes too quickly and the entire issue is resolved within minutes with this fluff ending.
I found it hard to relate to Renee's issues. I've always been fairly happy with my body and her extreme low self-esteem was grating. Her desire to be someone else is extreme. In fact, Renee's behavior is extreme throughout the story. She's never calm. I like that her best friends were level headed and comfortable with themselves, but I wondered why they put up with her? How are these three friends?
Schumer did make me laugh, but a majority of the jokes fell flat. I could have done without all of the bathroom humor. It's not funny.
RECOMMEND- No. I Feel Pretty misses the mark.