Thursday, April 19, 2018

She feels pretty but Is she funny?

Amy Schumer's latest misses the mark.

Amy Schumer's I Feel Pretty springs from a potentially fertile comic premise. A young woman who thinks that she’s hopelessly unattractive hits her head and suddenly believes that she has become beautiful.

Filled with newfound confidence, this woman -- Schumer’s Renee -- begins behaving as she always imagined a beautiful woman would. In Schumer's hands, Renee’s behavior as a newly anointed beauty brims with comic exaggeration and border-line obnoxiousness.

Still, Renee begins to take control of her life. She aggressively flirts with a man at the dry cleaners. She goes after a less obscure job in the cosmetics company that employees her. She's having the time of her life.

So is Renee a little crazy? Not exactly. When she looks in the mirror, she sees herself as gorgeous. Everyone else, of course, sees the same old Renee.

In case you haven't already guessed, the moral is that women should be happy to be themselves. More, they should be proud to be themselves.

And in case you missed the message -- obvious from the start -- the movie provides Renee with an end-of-picture speech in which she hits it directly on the nose.

To reach its foregone conclusion, the story follows the blossoming Renee as she becomes the highly-visible receptionist for her company. Predictably, Renee also offers the company CEO (Michelle Williams) advice about how to market a new “diffusion” line of products, which is supposed to help the company reach shoppers in the economy’s less affluent realms.

For me, Williams provides I Feel Pretty’s only real surprise: She's funny as an executive who can't reconcile her girlish voice with her corporate status.

The movie's formula requires that Renee also find love; it arrives in the form of an ordinary guy played by Rory Scovel. Scovel’s character acts as if he’s impressed by Renee’s unabashed boldness, displayed when she enters a bikini contest at Coney Island, adapting her street clothes for the occasion.

Renee also has gal pals (Busy Philipps and Aidy Bryant), women she treats badly once she believes that she’s acquired the looks of a model.

Not only does I Feel Pretty score low on credibility, but the writing/directing team of Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein lobs a softball; I Feel Pretty has little or no bite when it comes to criticizing the cosmetics industry, media-generated standards of beauty or much else for that matter.

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