‘I Feel Pretty’ about hating yourself unless you’re gorgeous

Amy Schumer has a long history of poking fun at the way she looks and the ways in which even unattractive men demand perfection in women.

In 2015, she devoted an entire episode of her Comedy Central sketch series to an elaborate parody of “12 Angry Men” in which jurors — including Jeff Goldblum, Paul Giamatti, John Hawkes and Kumail Nanjiani — deliberated whether Schumer was attractive enough to be on television.

The episode earned Giamatti an Emmy nomination and helped “Inside Amy Schumer” take home its only Emmy for outstanding variety sketch series.

So why did that resonate in ways that “I Feel Pretty” — in which Schumer “Shallow Hals” herself into thinking she’s supermodel hot — doesn’t?

For starters, Schumer co-wrote that episode, and it was more of an indictment of the idiocy of men. In “I Feel Pretty,” written and directed by the “How to Be Single” duo of Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, Schumer’s Renee Bennett is a sad, damaged woman who’s convinced life only matters if you’re beautiful.

Also, the sketch lasted 20 minutes. “I Feel Pretty” slogs in at 110.

Renee’s life is a series of disappointments. She’s spent the past six years toiling away in a Chinatown basement running the online division of cosmetics giant Lily LeClair. She visits a boutique only to be told, “Sizing is a little limited here, but you can probably find your size online.” And during her first trip to SoulCycle, her bike collapses beneath her.

Desperate to know how it feels to be “undeniably pretty,” Renee takes a break from watching “Big” during a thunderstorm to make a wish while tossing a coin into a fountain. But it isn’t until a second gruesome SoulCycle injury that she regains consciousness and believes she looks toned, fit and stunning — even though to everyone else, she’s exactly the same.

Overflowing with self-confidence, Renee soon moves from the basement to the reception desk at Lily LeClair’s Fifth Avenue offices and, eventually, into the inner circle of socialite CEO Avery LeClair (Michelle Williams). Against her every instinct, Avery is being pressured by her grandmother, Lily (Lauren Hutton), into bringing their elitist brand to Target and Kohl’s, the latter of which Avery manages to stretch into a three-syllable word.

Williams, a four-time Oscar nominee, has never been known for her comedic chops, but her against-type turn as Avery — who’s overly botoxed, perpetually confused and appears emaciated in a special effects way, like a pre-super-soldier-serum Steve Rogers in the first “Captain America” — is a revelation. Her voice, something like a chipmunk with vocal fry drowning in a vat of mayonnaise, is “I Feel Pretty’s” greatest comic invention.

Renee meets a guy (Rory Scovel, “Inside Amy Schumer”) at the dry cleaners, where she befuddles and slightly terrifies him into going out with her. He has absolutely no idea what to make of her when, on a date, Renee enters a bikini contest and writhes around on the floor, pouring water on herself, and showing as much skin as possible. The scene is intended to be a howl, because Schumer obviously doesn’t look like the other entrants, with their long legs and tiny waists. But the effect is more mean-spirited and cruel, like that Chris Farley Chippendales sketch on “Saturday Night Live.”

I’m not suggesting Schumer is being taken advantage of. She knew exactly what she signed on for. But unlike her debut, “Trainwreck,” Schumer didn’t write this material, and she doesn’t have director/producer Judd Apatow looking out for her.

Several of the scenes in which Renee tries to convince her friends (Busy Phillips, Aidy Bryant) not to freak out over her “new” appearance are quite funny. But too often, the “jokes” are at Schumer’s expense as she acts far sexier than she’s supposed to look. The problem is, those scenes demand someone far less attractive. Schumer doesn’t even bother to deglam.

Despite a final-act empowerment statement, “I Feel Pretty” is a meandering comedy with a troubling message that’s all about hating who you are unless you’re gorgeous.

And may God help the self-esteem of the millions of women out there who would be thrilled to look like Amy Schumer.

A movie called “I Feel Pretty” should never feel this ugly.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like