I Feel Pretty
Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer) has a good job, nice home and steadfast friends but suffers from low self esteem because she doesn't think she's beautiful. After throwing a coin into a fountain, Renee is disappointed that her wish hasn't come true, but after knocking herself out at SoulCycle, she confounds everyone with her declarations of "I Feel Pretty."
Laura's Review: C+
"How to Be Single" and "Never Been Kissed" writers Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein make their directorial debut with a film that's been catching a lot of flack about body shaming. But while it features some condescending high fashion types, Amy Schumer's latest vehicle is about how self confidence attracts every bit as much as surface beauty. Fearless comedienne Schumer is perfectly cast here, wringing a lot of laughs out of her oversized but not misplaced new found belief in herself, but Kohn and Silverstein's film only works in fits and starts, a number of plot strands underwritten or trailing off into the ether. Renee works in IT for Lily LeClair Cosmetics, but instead of being at corporate HQ, she's stuck in a Chinatown basement server office with Mason (Adrian Martinez). When they cannot deliver a report in time because of an outage, Mason insists that Renee must be the one to deliver it. She's both intimidated and dazzled by the Manhattan glamor, especially when she spots CEO Avery LeClair (Michelle Williams). Once she's had that nasty double bump on the head, though, Renee's so convinced of her hotness, she becomes unbeatable, leaving construction workers perplexed in her wake and Ethan (Rory Scovel), the nice guy with esteem issues of his own, steamrolled into a date after a chance conversation at the dry cleaners. When they hit the Coney Island boardwalk and Renee leaps into a bikini contest, he's horrified. By the time she finishes her exuberant presentation, he and the crowd are all won over. She also goes for an HQ receptionist job and gets it, despite the filmmakers giving little in the way of explanation as to how considering her earlier reception. Avery decides Renee is the perfect person to bring LeClair's new Diffusion line to the masses when she questions why there is no brush with the blush. Avery's playboy brother Grant (Tom Hopper), who makes Renee weak in the knees, takes notice of her too. But Renee's new attitude has its downside, best buddies Vivian (SNL's Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Philipps) dumped for the glitterati. "I Feel Pretty" has a lot going for it, including its message that even those born beautiful don't always have it easy. Williams, in a hilarious performance, may have a business degree from Wharton, but her Kewpie doll voice keeps everyone from taking her seriously. Too bad this smart character can't see the obvious about her new product line, something that would have been readily apparent by regarding the competition. When Renee's subsequent knock on the noggin 'reverses the spell' as Grant waits in the next room, she avoids him with an excuse of violent diarrhea, a most unlikely feminine ploy. And when Grant's no longer needed, he simply exits the story. I groaned at the ubiquitous Bed Bath and Beyond product placement before being treated to the sight of Lauren Hutton, playing company founder Lily LeClair, pulling a bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing out of her purse in a swanky restaurant for a bonding moment with Renee. The screenplay strains all too often, its concept outweighing its construction. Grade:
Robin's Review: DNS