Movie Review: I Feel Pretty feels pretty fun

I FEEL PRETTY
Movie Review: I Feel Pretty feels pretty fun
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. He is a graduate of Journalism from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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STX’s new I Feel Pretty is the victim to one of the greatest divisions in comedy. The trickiest goal for any filmmaker is making something that a wide audience will find truly funny. In this case, the laughter is sporadic. But when it comes, it’s hilarious.

Not every movie is going to be a masterpiece. And not every movie is trying to be one, either. More of this one, however, is sweetly earnest and sincere instead of brash and condescending.

Renee (Amy Schumer) is a career-driven woman in her late twenties humorously inhibited by her low self-confidence and physical appearance. That changes when she begins seeing herself differently after an accident in a cycling class. Suddenly Renee (and only Renee) sees herself as a supermodel and the world through her new, unchanged eyes.

Writers and debut directors Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (The Vow, How to Be Single) have smartly found the successful secret for this kind of story: the tone is both winsome and positive. The optimism is contagious as the story continues, and it lets many of the scenes appear funnier than they sometimes they are.

Photo: STX Entertainment

Star Schumer is exuberant and plays Renee before, during and after her “magic spell” with great enthusiasm and fun. It’s better than most of her recent performances. It helps too because by the movie’s end, the moral assures audiences there’s an equal danger in overconfidence and shallow indulgence as there is in your own lack of belief.

These are great morals for a girl-centric comedy. But this month’s Blockers covers similar themes in a more effective, tighter and much funnier story. I’ll admit as a single, heterosexual man, I am clearly not this film’s target audience.

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Even so, I was able to understand and empathize with the ensemble cast. More importantly, I valued and laughed at most of the better humour. This movie will be enjoyed by a select audience looking for an uplifting comedy that’s bigger on cheap fun than subtlety.

Last spring I famously wrote a passionate review of Snatched, Schumer’s last film with her in a starring role. It’s still among the worst films I’ve written about by far. But just as I am responsible for attributing criticism to poorly made movies, credit must be given when the same talent does something well.

Schumer is still immensely inconsistent with her work in the movies. I Feel Pretty, thankfully, is one of her more likeable and less self-obsessive works. It’s a great mix of her outstanding comedic chops and her showing control from acting too mean.

By the end, I felt surprised. More so, I was pleasantly charmed. But if you’re the kind of viewer that rolled their eyes at anything by Garry Marshall, stay far away.

I Feel Pretty
2 out of 4 stars

PG, 1hr 50mins. Comedy.
Written and Directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein.
Starring Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams and Rory Scovel.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.

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