REVIEW: Clumsy Execution Of Premise, Weak Humor Sink ‘I Feel Pretty’

“I Feel Pretty” is the type of film that has good ideas and even a concept that could work, but unfortunately, the execution is really rough.

The film follows the character Renee (Amy Schumer), a woman who’s insecure and is having difficulty in both her career and love life. However, after a fall during an exercise routine, Renee wakes up with the belief that she’s suddenly become seemingly more beautiful than before. This is despite her appearance not changing.

As a result, Renee becomes significantly more confident than before and she has success in many aspects of her life, starting a relationship with a guy named Ethan (Rory Scovel) and advancing her career with a promotion.

One of the major issues in “I Feel Pretty” is how the concept was laid out. Having Renee’s head injury be a change into how she views herself in the mirror just didn’t work very well. The most obvious point that comes up is that in this time of having so many social media outlets, it was hard to believe that Renee never looked at another recent picture and noticed that she looked the exact same before and after her fall.

The film could have possibly made more sense if it had focused more on just Renee’s overall confidence changing, perhaps going from an introvert to an extrovert and having the ability to take on the world. This is especially true since the whole premise the movie was working with kind of falls apart in the final act.

Speaking of acts, “I Feel Pretty” is extraordinarily predictable. It’s rather easy to guess the changes Renee will have (such as getting a promotion), how she’ll have a fall out with friends because of her changes, and the whole resolution at the end.

Now, most romantic-comedies have these types of story beats, and that’s perfectly fine. However, the good ones throw something else in the mix usually to change it up. While this film tried to do that with its premise, it simply wasn’t executed well and the humor didn’t click.

Almost all of the comedy revolved around the same joke that Renee is thinking she looks different and the world reacting by saying she looks the exact same. The attempts for laughs come off as shallow and not as smart as Schumer’s film “Trainwreck” was. Plus, the film was just rated PG-13, which may not have allowed for some of Schumer’s darker and at times sharper humor.

Now, I’ve really only brought up Schumer so far, so, it should be noted that the film was co-written and co-directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein. Most of their work on writing has been hit-or-miss and this was their directorial debut, and it showed at times.

As for the acting, Schumer really does put effort into the role and tries to make the premise as convincing as it can be. She actually does some solid work here and she has solid comedic timing, which works to the picture’s advantage.

However, the film seemed to squander its casting of (four time Oscar nominee) Michelle Williams. Her character (who runs the company Renee works for) has one trait, and that is having a high pitched voice so nobody can take her seriously. That’s it. It would have been much more interesting if she would have been a more straightforward character, especially considering Williams’ talent. Unfortunately, she’s not given much to do here.

“I Feel Pretty” is a film that really did have its heart in the right place. The message it’s trying to send is clear and it’s a good one to have, but the concept is handled in a clumsy way, the humor doesn’t work and the whole thing is predictable and overlong, coming in at nearly two hours. 2 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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