‘I Feel Pretty’ is not a pretty feeling

‘Amy Schumer film knows what it wants to be, but fails to deliver


“I Feel Pretty” is a film with a clear message. Beauty comes from within and loving who you are is the most attractive thing you can do.


Unfortunately, “I Feel Pretty” entirely fails at that message at that message by actively working against it. The film stars Amy Schumer as Renee Bennett, a low level worker at a cosmetic corporation who hits her head riding a gymnastic bike and wakes up believing she’s magically become more attractive while in fact not changing in anything but her own perception.

The film’s point is that, despite looking the same, the change in attitude is what makes her seem more attractive to the world around her. Then they repeat the same joke of people reacting to Renee’s arrogant overconfident actions when she’s not actually more attractive for two entire painstakingly slow hours.

The film’s humor simply fails on every level. If it’s not the same joke repeated continuously of Renee acting as if she’s attractive when she actually is not, its bland slapstick. There’s only so many times that Amy Schumer falling over and hurting herself can be funny, and in this film that’s about once if that. The film has a few jokes sprinkled through that manage to work but those are too sparse for it to be anything other than painful.

The film’s message of loving yourself being attractive doesn’t work within the films own context. The major plot line of the film is that the CEO of a cosmetics company, played by Michelle Williams, uses Renee’s experiences being considered unattractive to sell make-up to people who shop at Target.

It’s difficult for a message about self acceptance and body positivity to work using the premise of selling cheap makeup to “unattractive people.” The main character’s arc of loving herself doesn’t make sense when she works for and never continues to work for a corporation that reduces the worth of women to nothing more than physical appearance, which is the opposite of the films message. In any other film this would be played off as knowing satire, but in this it feels almost sexist.

The film has a few decent aspects. All the acting was serviceable. Michelle Williams probably has the best performance in the film but it’s still nothing spectacular. The film looks fine, but does nothing interesting with its directing. Outside of a few scenes with poor editing, and one musical track that plays far too often and overstays its welcome quick, there’s nothing too terrible with the post-production. It’s certainly competent.

The best adjective to describe this film is “painful.” There’s really not much to like and there’s certainly a lot to hate. While the film is made competently enough to keep it above the lowest rankings, it does far too much wrong to be considered good. I give it a 2 out of 10.

“I Feel Pretty” has a runtime of one hours and fifty minutes, and is rated PG-13.