The idea that a woman in modern society can feel confident about her appearance and capable of success is apparently a foreign concept to the creators of Amy Schumer’s latest comedy film, I Feel Pretty. The film has faced some pretty harsh backlash from the release of its first trailer and I have to say, after watching the film, that it is absolutely deserved. This is a film which attempts to convince women to feel better about themselves and what they look like, but it doesn’t even believe in its own message.
I Feel Pretty follows the story of Renee Bennett, a woman with low self esteem who struggles to accept her appearance, after she suffers from severe head trauma and wakes to the image of herself as the most beautiful woman in the world. Her appearance doesn’t actually change, but the fall causes something in her brain to shift and makes her believe she looks beautiful – as if a woman can only feel pretty after going through a brain injury. Not only that, but she also dreams of working in the esteemed offices of a cosmetics company even though she already works for them in the online division. With her new-found confidence, she takes a considerable pay-cut and gets her “dream job” of being a receptionist for the company. Talk about aiming high.
The movie suffers the most due to its terribly embarrassing and misguided screenwriting. Although it’s message is about not caring what others think, Schumer’s character only finds validation through the opinions of others. Her final speech about beauty and female empowerment is delivered in a pitch to sell cosmetics for her company. There are some moments of comedy which elicit a few laughs, but nothing to make up for the poor writing by directors and screenwriters: Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein.
Other than the blatant ignorance of a real woman’s experience in modern society, there was nothing memorable about I Feel Pretty. Renee’s wardrobe basically consisted of workout clothes and colorful mini-skirts. The music is the same catchy tunes that can be heard on any radio station today. The other characters, such as Oscar award winning Michelle Williams as Avery LeClaire, have some good scenes here and there but her talents are wasted on this film.
I Feel Pretty is a declaration of everything it is attempting not to be. The shallow portrayal of women, the remorseless advertisements for “better health” companies, and the idea that a woman who looks like Amy Schumer can be considered ‘ugly’ all contribute to a pretty terrible film.
Kimberly Morles is a Senior at FIU majoring in English. She is pursuing a certificate in Exile and Film Studies.