“I Feel Pretty” is the latest over-inflated and self-important comedy trying to double as social commentary to come to theaters.
Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein team up to write and direct their first feature-length film, but make the mistake of building a script around an incoherent message regarding self-esteem instead of trying to tell a story about likeable characters.
“I Feel Pretty” follows actress Amy Schumer as Renee Bennett, a woman who struggles with body image and tries everything — except for eating healthily and exercising regularly — to make herself feel and look beautiful. She fails at every turn.
Overweight and depressed in her demeanor, Bennett is struggling to get through life when she accidentally receives a terrible blow to the head. When she wakes up, she believes that all her wildest dreams have come true, and she is now stunningly gorgeous.
With newfound confidence, Bennett’s life begins to take a turn for the better. She gets the job she has always dreamed of having, meets a cute and caring guy and impresses her boss so much that she is given great opportunities within her workplace.
However, when all that false confidence leaves her in yet another accident, Bennett must try to figure out what it was about her that was so likeable to everyone who respected her confidence and enthusiasm; she must find and reconcile the differences between the two versions of herself.
Though the premise of the film is filled with potential, it fails to deliver more than a couple chuckles and perhaps one or two sweet moments.
The rest of the film is a depressing march in which the audience is forced to trudge through waves of superficial perceptions of humanity and bogs of the most generic, cringe-inducing, shock-value comedy writing that offers nothing, even to interested viewers.
Schumer, who has proved that she can be funny in other roles, plays one of the most unlikeable main characters one can imagine.
For the majority of the film, Bennett is so incredibly shallow and stupid that even viewers who have gone through similar struggles with body image cannot relate to her.
The only redeeming quality of her character that makes her somewhat likeable is that occasionally she will do or say something that a 12 or 13-year-old would find amusing.
“I Feel Pretty” also boasts a disjointed script that is unfunny and confusing.
Even the message of “I Feel Pretty” cannot redeem its lesser qualities.
The message of the film, which is that feeling comfortable with who you are, no matter your physical qualities, is what is most important in life, becomes much less powerful when one pauses to notice that the message is being used, within the context of the film, to promote makeup and beauty accessories.
The film lacks focus to the point of contradicting the preaching points it tries to shove down its audience’s throat.
Despite its uninspired script, there are a couple aspects of the film that are not terrible.
A couple of the jokes are genuinely funny, and viewing how the initial surge of confidence in the main character changes her interactions with people is amusing.
Additionally, there is a glimmer of creativity in the use of perspective in the film’s camerawork and editing that helps place this film slightly above Adam Sandler’s worst films.
Overall, “I Feel Pretty” feels more like torture than entertainment.
Ironically, a film that preaches the gospel of equality ends up proving that many films, itself included, are not deserving of any recognition, even at matinee price.