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Film Review: 'I Feel Pretty' Delivers Laughs and a Positive Message

April 18, 2018Britany Murphy

Having self-esteem and confidence in a society that always focuses on a person's imperfections is hard. And for those of us who are not "undeniably pretty," this daunting task can be overwhelming and, at times, perhaps seemingly impossible. However, I Feel Pretty aims to shift that conversation and focus on the fact that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that believing in oneself is the key to happiness.

Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer) is going through life struggling with being "ordinary." She wants more than anything to not be an average girl and to be considered undeniably beautiful. But, as hard as she tries, she seems to be resigned to an existence of normalcy — an element of her life that becomes glaringly evident when she and her friends, Vivian (Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Philipps), join a group dating app and get zero views on their profile.

Feeling overwhelmed by defeat and self-doubt, Renee makes a wish to be beautiful. But upon looking into the mirror, she's disappointed that her wish hasn't been granted. Taking matters into her own hands, she tries to make herself feel better by returning to the spin class she'd abandoned earlier. But after sustaining a concussion when she falls off her bike, Renee emerges believing that her wish has finally come true — that she is the most beautiful woman in the world — and, as a result, develops the confidence that goes hand-in-hand with that.

Thanks to her newfound beauty and confidence, Renee embarks on a journey of things she's never done before, feeling like she can take on the world — despite the fact that she looks exactly how she did when she was struggling with self-esteem issues. Renee becomes bold, impassioned and unafraid of meeting new people, including her soon-to-be-boyfriend Ethan (Rory Scovel), and applies for — and actually lands — a job at the head office of LeClair Cosmetics, a company headed by Avery LeClair (Michelle Williams) and her grandmother, Lily (Lauren Hutton). But all throughout, the nagging question remains: Will Renee's illusion last? And if so, at what cost?

Schumer is completely relatable as Renee, and whether she believes she's average or beautiful, you'll find yourself believing in every moment and every word that comes out of her mouth. That said, the true scene-stealer is Williams as Avery. While she does not have as much screen time as Schumer's Renee, Williams puts on a performance that is a far cry from her past work, and not only that, she does it brilliantly. Williams is funny and believable, and her insecurities are palpable. After all, we've all been in Avery's shoes at some point in time, especially when it comes to the workplace.

Directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, I Feel Pretty is not your average comedy. Of course, the audience will get their fill of laughs, but these moments do not suppress the film's bigger message, which is that confidence comes from within, and that beauty comes in many forms. The movie does a great job of showing that we all have insecurities, despite how beautiful, smart and/or successful we might appear to be. However, with a little self-belief and a great group of supportive loved ones, we too can be truly confident in all that we do.

I Feel Pretty releases April 20th, 2018 from eOne Films. The film has an MPAA rating of PG-13 for sexual content, some partial nudity, and language. Its runtime is 1 hr. 50 min.

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