The constant trait that has defined Amy Schumer since breaking out in 2013 is fearlessness. Whether it was on her Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, in the acclaimed Trainwreck, or in her must-see talk show appearances, she has had a knack for going for the gusto at all times.
That attitude, in a nutshell, is what her new film, I Feel Pretty, is all about. Schumer plays Renee Bennett, a lower-rung employee for a high-end cosmetics company called Lily LeClaire. Faced with a constant barrage of models at work, Renee is highly insecure about her own looks, wishing she could live life like one of them.
She gets her wish when she hits her head in an accident, causing her to have supreme confidence in her beauty. Her newfound self-assuredness soon leads to everything she thought she wanted, including a job in the inner circle at Lily LeClaire working with Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams), as well as a new boyfriend (Rory Scovel).
Written and directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, the film walks a very fine line between supporting Renee and making fun of her. There are multiple characters who see her as she originally sees herself, i.e. someone who doesn’t live up to the stereotypical standards of beauty. But once she believes that she belongs in the world of models, her boldness causes almost everyone around her to look at her in a new light.
Aside from Schumer's performance, the biggest reason for the film’s success is its non-reliance on gags. There are plenty of hilarious moments, but they are balanced out by an equal number of heartfelt ones. Kohn and Silverstein also keep the film grounded with real, relatable situations, never going too far outside what an actual person would experience if she underwent such a transformation.
It’s difficult to keep coming up with superlatives for Schumer, but suffice it to say, she knocks it out of the park once again. Just like Renee, she knows what she wants and she doesn’t let anything stop her from getting it. She’s aided by great turns from Scovel, Aidy Bryant, and Busy Phillips, as well as an unusual but effective performance by Williams.
I Feel Pretty is first and foremost a great comedy, but its message of self-confidence makes it deeper than your typical yukfest. With Schumer at the helm, you know you’re in pretty good hands.