Amy Schumer has caused quite a stir with this body image satire that's polarising audiences with its take on our obsession with appearances.
Unlike Trainwreck, which she wrote, Schumer has acting credits only, playing a woman with deep insecurities about her looks. Even in a largely formulaic comedy, which lets the opportunity pass by for a sharper discussion, Schumer provides some hearty laughs; and some appalling ones too.
To truly enjoy I Feel Pretty, it's probably best to lower your expectations and not overthink it; both the premise and film are silly. Renee (Schumer), is a 20-something whose aspirations to work in a 5th Avenue cosmetics company are dashed by her perception that she doesn't fit the stereotypical look of a supermodel.
After a brutal fall in a spin class, Renee wakes up believing she's gorgeous. The gag is she looks exactly the same but her newfound confidence changes her life. She soon acquires an adorable boyfriend, her dream job and rocks the stage at a dodgy bikini competition like she's an extra in a hip-hop video.
As we don't get to see how Renee sees herself, scenes like this could come across as a sour joke mocking the average woman. It's Schumer's enthusiasm to be as over-the-top as possible which reminds us the whole film is exaggerating to make a point, rather than to make Renee the butt of the joke. And the scene is hilarious.
However, Renee's ongoing obsession with her appearance eventually makes for a character you grow weary of; especially as the movie struggles to wrap the party up convincingly.
Sure, the messaging is mixed and open to interpretation, it drags and is at times awkward but Schumer's heart is in the right place. If you strip it back, this is just a fun, forgettable film about being yourself and not giving a hoot about appearances. It's a good conversation to have with our teenage daughters.
Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams
Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
M (Sexual References)
Silly and confused messaging, but some great laughs to be had.