There are certain figures in entertainment who seem to always be met with criticism and outrage. While it’s gone up and down throughout her career, actress/comedian Amy Schumer has been that person on many occasions. Schumer has a very strong perspective on the world, and is unapologetic in her responses. Her newest comedy I Feel Pretty may be less raunchy that her previous comedies, with its PG-13 rating, but the subject matter already has polarized critics. Luckily for Schumer and everyone involved, the finished product is a movie that is relatable, respectful, and has equal parts heart and comedy.
While Amy Schumer has toned down some of her more NSFW tendencies and language for I Feel Pretty, the film still feels like something straight out of her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. The movie focuses on the shallowness of online dating, self esteem issues, and ultimately finding one’s own beauty. While doing all of that, it still manages to keep audiences busting a gut, while not allowing the comedy to become monotonous or saturated.
In their directorial debut, I Feel Pretty is helmed by writing duo Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, who are known for their work in dating comedies like How To Be Single, Never Been Kissed, and He’s Just Not That Into You. Joining Schumer in the cast are some impressive ladies including Michelle Williams, Busy Phillips, Aidy Bryant, and even Naomi Campbell.
The story follows New Yorker Renee (Amy Schumer), who has a crippling lack of self confidence. Renee doesn’t find the beauty in her own appearance and life, resulting in her missing out on opportunities because she’s simply not brave enough to belief in herself and go for it. But all of that changes with one fateful SoulCycle Class.
Ultimately Renee hits her head at SoulCycle, and wakes up believing she’s the most beautiful person in the room. This changes everything for her, and sets her upon a new career, relationship, and hilariously awkward encounters.
The use of SoulCycle class is not accidental, as I Feel Pretty takes plenty of jabs towards white girl culture, and the like. This is a favorite source of material for Amy Schumer, who enjoys pointing out the ridiculousness of dating, fitness, and her own privilege. Not nearly enough to simply have Renee hit her head at SoulCycle, one supporting actor actually utters the words “We got a white girl down” after the incident.
I Feel Pretty keeps the jokes coming at a solid pace, allowing the audience to remain engaged and entertained throughout most its runtime. Aside from its myriad bits, the movie also boasts an emotional and relatable narrative; Renee’s insecurity in settings like job interviews and exercise classes is something that most of us have experienced at one point or another.
Seeing Renee so overly confident obviously creates plenty of moments for comedy, but it also provides a unique sense of joy and happiness for her. Renee is so secure in herself and her body that you can’t help but smile– even when there isn’t a punchline ready. And what starts as a doomed bikini contest at a bar quickly becomes a joyous montage that reminds us why we fell in love with Amy Schumer in the first place.
I Feel Pretty was met with criticism regarding its subject matter, although the finished product will likely silence those in protest. Renee doesn’t say she’s skinny after her injury, just that she’s beautiful. Ultimately the story is about her finding the beauty in her own body, which is something that those critics weren’t aware of when the film’s synopsis and trailers were released.
While there are some moments of lag, I Feel Pretty provides a joyous and hilarious new comedy for Amy Schumer’s talents, while also providing an emotional core and relatable story.