Friday, 14 September 2018

I Feel Pretty (2018)

I don't remember what I was seeing that day (probably Ant-Man and the Wasp) but I remember that, as soon as I saw the trailer for I Feel Pretty, I knew I would eventually end up watching as I was curious to see how dumb and bad it was. 

The film follows Renee (Amy Schumer), an insecure and lonely girl who works as a sysadmin for an elite cosmetic company and whose office is located in a basement in China Town. She's tired of being invisible and she wishes to become beautiful. After she hits her head at spinning class, she wakes up and, although nothing about her has changed, believes she is a supermodel. This new confidence empowers her to live the life she always wanted.

Although it's clich├ęd, silly and predictable, I Feel Pretty provides a nice twist on the typical body-switch plot we are used to seeing and because of it, it is refreshing and quite engaging and entertaining. The plot is also deeper than it looks as it delivers a cheesy and yet beautiful message of self-love to all women.

Unfortunately, the message kind of gets lost since Renee uses an inspiring and impassioned speech about beauty, saying how we, women in particular, have to stop comparing ourselves to models and start appreciating ourselves and be confident and happy in our own skin, to sell low-end makeup. It basically says, in order to be beautiful and have confidence, you have to wear makeup and look nothing like yourself. I don't know what the filmmakers were trying to do there, but it totally went wrong.

Character-wise, I Feel Pretty is pretty flawed. While Renee is a believable character, it's easy to relate to her (if you are a normal person) and has a nice development, the supporting characters are pretty terrible. They all are shallow and lack characterization. Also, for a movie that advocates for diversity, the characters are pretty much all the same. Sure, they have different body types and hair colour, but they all are white. The only representation non-white people/women get here is in the cosmetic/fashion world as if black women are worthy of being on screen only if they are conventionally good looking and sexy.

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The cast, on the other hand, or at least those few people who are given something to do, do a good job. Although I'm not sure she was the right cast for the role as she isn't ugly, Amy Schumer does well as Renee. She is charismatic, lovable and funny. Is she the greatest female comedian though? I'm not sure about that. Michelle Williams absolutely steals the scene as Avery LeClair, the heiress of the cosmetic company Renee works for. Her comedic timing is perfect and she is by far the most hilarious person in the film.

There's another aspect about I Feel Pretty that really stuck with me, the fact that the camera doesn't linger on women's bodies --the models are treated like human beings not just like legs, asses and boobs-- and there are no attempts at hiding normal bodies and their flaws.

Ultimately, I Feel Pretty kinda feels like a missed opportunity for the way the message is used, and the humour doesn't always work, but it's certainly not the worst comedy of the year. It's quite fun, actually.

6 comments :

  1. "Unfortunately, the message kind of gets lost..."

    Haven't seen this one, yet, but that's the problem I have with just about everything I've seen with her. That was certainly the case with Trainwreck and Snatched was just a mess of a movie. Can't say or sure that I'll be seeing this one.

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    1. That's the reason I keep putting off Trainwreck. It's still on my watchlist but I'm quite sure I'll never watch it.

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  2. My only interest for the film is Michelle Williams as I heard she steals the show. Other than that, I doubt I'll watch it as I don't think Amy Schumer is funny at all.

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    1. Yes, Williams absolutely steals the show. Sooner or later her scenes should be available on YouTube, you could watch those instead of the film.

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  3. I found this one fun, too - it surprised me because I honestly thought it was going to be much worse. But very much a missed opportunity because the premise was quite good and then yeah... just didn't exactly work all the way.

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