Amy Schumer is back on the big screen in the new comedy “I Feel Pretty”, and her comedic talents are on full display. Schumer stars as Renee Bennett, an ordinary woman who suffers from low self esteem and feels inadequate on a daily basis despite her best efforts. She manages the web site of Lily LeClaire cosmetics out of a Chinatown basement in New York City, but aspires to work out of their Fifth Avenue headquarters. She nearly applies for the front desk receptionist at LeClaire until she reads about representing the “beautiful” face on the cosmetics giant. Renee is so down on herself she actually makes a wish at a fountain to be beautiful. No sooner can you say “wish granted”, Renee falls off her bike at an exercise club, hitting her head and knocking herself unconscious. She awakens in the locker room, and even though she has not changed physically, begins to feel she is beautiful beyond her dreams. Renee begins to prance around with new confidence and feels she can conquer the world with her new “looks.”
With her new confidence she asks a guy named Ethan (Rory Scovel), for his number while waiting at the dry cleaners. She also returns to the office of LeClaire to apply for the position of receptionist, and attracts the attention of Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams), the company boss. Avery decides Renee must work at the firm, and one day while going about her receptionist duties, is pegged to help with the launch of the companies diffusion line after she convinces Avery the company must do better to appeal to Target shoppers. Renee has also attracted the attention of Avery’s brother Grant (Tom Hopper), who attempts to get romantic with the now confident blonde. Renee’s new confidence is backfiring with her best friends Jane (Busy Phillipps) and Vivian (Aidy Bryant), who become so repelled by her new “self”, they want nothing more to do with her. Meanwhile, Avery whisks Renee off to Boston for the launch of the diffusion line, and while in a luxurious hotel suite, Renee hits her head on a shower door, and upon awakening, looses her confidence. Renee immediately converts back to her inadequate self, and all but gives up her new job, and her boyfriend Ethan. However, due to a surprising turn of events, Renee realizes though she thought her outward appearance changed, she always looked exactly the same. Insert lesson here: love yourself as you are, because you are beautiful in your own unique way. The film borrows aspects of “The Devil Wears Prada” and the television series “Ugly Betty”, both of which were popular hits. Too bad none of the actors from those efforts had cameos. The supporting cast was wonderful, with highlights being Williams with her high pitched voice, and Scovel, as the often befuddled, but eventually loving boyfriend. The film was directed and written by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (“Never Been Kissed’), and the two allow Schumer to shine and avoid becoming a caricature. By the time the film ends, you will no doubt wish Renee was your friend. “I Feel Pretty” is a breezily, and lighthearted comedy, that provides much needed chuckles during the summer movie season.
(Rated PG-13) 2.5 stars (out of 4)