This article previously appeared on Crossfader
Directors: Marc Silverstein, Abby Kohn
Genre: Romantic Comedy
I’m a little biased when it comes to Amy Schumer. As in, I don’t really like Amy Schumer. I’ve never liked her comedy specials, her skits, and even her movie, TRAINWRECK, was nothing more than meh. So, obviously, I was a little less than enthusiastic buying my ticket and walking into I FEEL PRETTY. I’m considering titling April 2018 the Month-That-I-Ate-Crow because, once again, I found myself genuinely enjoying a film I was convinced I was going to hate. Honestly, when am I going to learn my lesson? I thought I was going to roll my eyes at I FEEL PRETTY, but instead I was laughing and slapping my arm rest, even if that’s probably because Amy Schumer didn’t write it.
I FEEL PRETTY was written and directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein. I repeat, I could not be happier that Amy Schumer didn’t write this film. Anyway, the movie tells the story of a woman with low self-esteem who, through a freak accident at a SoulCycle class, suddenly thinks she is the most beautiful woman in the world, the confidence boost of the century. Kohn and Silverstein have worked together on several projects such as HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU and VALENTINE’S DAY. Though far from rom-com A-listers, they clearly know the lay of the land. I don’t think there could have been a better person—or better people—to write a film of this kind.
My reaction when I didn’t hate everything about this film and I actually left satisfied!
Amy Schumer wasn’t the only thing I was on the fence about when I heard about this film. As a woman in a particularly difficult industry, I was wary of the premise. The only way for a woman to feel good about herself is to suffer a head injury? No, thank you. Thankfully, the film took this in a much more empowering direction, where confidence is key, not brain trauma. It may have taken a cringe-worthy scene or two from Schumer to reach that conclusion, but it was nothing too unbearable. I drove home genuinely contemplating my current self-worth and how I too can raise my confidence. If a film can impact at least one woman that way, then it’s a win in my book. More so, Schumer’s character didn’t, at any point in the film, use her love interest as a source of confidence. Even if it was a head injury, it was all her and no one else. That independence factor is really the icing on the cake.
While the technical aspects in this film weren’t anything too special, this is one of the best combinations of dialogue and writing in a comedy film that I’ve seen in a fair amount of time. As I’ve said in my previous reviews on comedy films, the technicalities of filmmaking aren’t what we focus on. What makes a comedy film is in the little nuances of the dialogue and the script, in addition to the performances, if the film calls for it. While I don’t enjoy Schumer as a writer, I admired her acting chops in this film. She hit all the right emotional notes. Admittedly, I didn’t laugh at every single joke, some I just kind of shrugged at. But the jokes that did get me, even the ones Schumer delivered, had me practically in tears. I just can’t be mad at any sort of film that both has me reeling with laughter and features an important lesson for women.
I do, however, hate floral print and I hate pink. Ew.
I need be honest, I have a difficult time saying that I recommend a movie that has anything to do with Amy Schumer. Based on her reputation and her general overall humor, I’m inclined to avoid her work. That being said, I have to stick to my guns and call it how I see it. This was definitely one of the more hilarious yet meaningful cinematic journeys I’ve been on. I FEEL PRETTY ended up not only being one of the most side-splitting romantic comedies I’ve seen in a while, but one with a message that I can and will firmly stand by.