There’s a good movie somewhere in the depths of “I Feel Pretty” but the version that flits about on screen isn’t it. Sure, Amy Schumer gives it her best effort, and she’s a solid presence and game for anything, but the film doesn’t even stay true to the logic it establishes. Schumer is Renee, a low-level employee at a makeup company who suffers from esteem issues surrounding her appearance, until a freak SoulCycle accident instills her with an overblown sense of vanity.
Writers/Directors Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein have assembled a strong cast and took a thoughtful premise but it’s executed rather poorly. There are a few laughs to be had, mostly in watching Schumer have fun exaggerating her perceived flaws and exploiting her newfound confidence. I don’t think Schumer is necessarily the right visual fit for such a destructive takedown, but one only needs to visit any message board to see the viciousness charging at her in reality.
Renee’s best friends, played by the always-welcome Busy Phillips and SNL’s Aidy Bryant, are good foils for her, but given the emotional stakes the movie trots out in the final act, we don’t spend nearly enough time with them. The sentimentality is unearned across the board. While Schumer is an engaging actress and the character of Renee feels vastly different than her stage persona, the comedy follows a lot of the same road as her comedy. The greatest impact in the movie comes from the hilarious Goop-like baby-voiced mogul played by Michelle Williams, looking like Paltrow and sounding like Betty Boop sucked down a pint of helium. Williams in her all-too-brief moments, is hilarious, but still a cartoon in a movie filled with one-note roles and scenes. Rory Scovel as Renee’s new beau is also decent, giving the movie a nice dose of charm, but it’s still not enough to make me care about any of the characters.
A couple laughs, but ultimately disappointing. The movie has good intentions, but needed a bump of confidence like Renee to come together into anything cohesive.
My Grade – C-