Not as horrendous as I thought it was going to be.
Going into this film I had very little hopes that it would be a funny comedy, let alone something that could be thought-provoking given it was tackling a seemingly simple premise. But hey, I was thankfully surprised, because it was nowhere near as bad as I felt about the god-awful Truth or Dare. I’m not saying I would go see it again because it’s still just a typical romantic comedy in most respects. Though its concept elevates it as a film slightly and its themes of empowerment are a nice touch.
The idea here is that one day, you get knocked on the head so hard that when you wake up, you see yourself as the most beautiful person in the world (hence the name of the movie, duh). But this is all the more fitting for our protagonist, Renee Barret (Amy Schumer), who constantly feels insecure about her image and always dreams about having the perfect look that she admires from so many other women around her. Her desires and dreams get fulfilled, when, after a fateful accident, she awakens to this incredible gift and now she can only view herself with a model-like body.
When I heard of this concept, I immediately thought of the film Shallow Hal. In some ways, it’s very akin to the themes in that movie, which dealt with viewing people for who they truly were inside, ignoring the physical exterior and seeing the personality that was inside. Again, a simple concept but it worked well enough to be original and to make some commentary on society as a whole.
The same is done for I Feel Pretty only it’s done in a slightly different way because, for Renee Barrett, the way she sees herself is attached directly to a physical image. It might seem like a superficial notion, but I enjoyed the fact that the film never presented it in that light or focused on that. It wasn’t about finding the perfect way to look but to simply just find the self-confidence behind that. This is what I liked most about the film’s premise as it explored scenarios where Renee Barret would take her newfound confidence and apply it to situations that previously she would have no place being in because of her insecurities.
My qualm with this is that many of these setups were just terribly cheesy and filled with dumb humor so it feels like such a wasted opportunity. To me, it felt like the story had a lot of these scenes that would either be crude for the sake of being crude or just be very unrealistic and convenient. But hey, the effort to show what happens when we simply believe in ourselves so we can do something we weren’t sure of before is still there. Even if it is misaligned and could have been targeted in a more intelligent way.
As a comedy, I didn’t find myself laughing too much but that’s only cause it’s not really my type of humor. The jokes are simple and basic, which is what you get with typical romantic comedies. It’s not really my thing because I can see how predictable the punchline is going to be.
There’s also a couple of annoying characters that are meant to be funny, but I just don’t see why they had to be there in the first place. One of the characters has a certain defect in her voice which she’s really insecure about and this ties into the themes of the whole movie. But it was so distracting, and I don’t see why they couldn’t have chosen to give her something else to have as a flaw.
I also found the plot formula fairly predictable with a lot of conveniences that have been thrown in. A couple of aspects seem impractical and the reactions of the characters should really be reflecting something else and not what was portrayed in the movie. Renee’s friends showing up at the highly publicized fashion launch event, seemingly passing all the security that’s there. Um OK? Preparing a presentation that you’ve worked on for ages but then giving it suddenly to your boss without any explanation and that somehow doesn’t make her angry when you next see her at the launch event? Um OK? Again, these are the same issues I have with any typical romantic comedy so it’s nothing new and it might be something you’re happy to overlook.
What this film aims to do, and I feel does it successfully, is the message of empowerment especially for women. It’s obvious that this film is targeted to females and is about the embodiment of women, which sitting in a whole cinema filled with women will also drill into you, but it does work.
But could these same themes be applied to everyone and not just females? I think the story’s concept could be a great way of simply exploring the power that self-confidence can have in any of us and I would have loved to see this film go into that as well. To not just see one person’s perspective on it but from both male and female, and not necessarily only about seeing yourself as a gorgeous supermodel. There’s a whole range of things that you could tackle that would be great to watch.
Anyways, I’d recommend skipping this but if you did end up watching it, it won’t feel like that much of a waste time compared to other films currently out (cough, Truth or Dare, cough). It is a nice step in the right direction, even if it is a small one.