Amy SchumerEmily Ratajkowski...
Abby KohnMarc Silverstein
In 1 Cinema
When you trip on your own shoelaces, people will probably think it’s funny. And it probably is. But it is also a mean kind of laughter. I Feel Pretty laughed at the tripping, while the film itself did the same.
I Feel Pretty is a comedy about Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer) who is insecure, struggles with low self-esteem, and does not think she is beautiful. While working out, Renee hits her head, blacks out, and wakes up thinking that her body has been transformed into that of a sexy and beautiful woman. With this thought in mind, and a new, endless confidence, Renee excels at her career and her personal life, until the illusion is shattered.
Is it fun to watch? Yes. Does it deserve an Oscar? Not really.
I Feel Pretty is fun to watch but it is also quite mean. Having Amy Schumer doing embarrassing acts with skyrocketing confidence, sends a certain message; the only reason for audiences to laugh at her newly found confidence is that someone that looks like her would not or should not, according to society, have that kind of confidence in the first place. For example, while Schumer enters a bikini contest, in which she competes with model like figures and dances provocatively to the song Swalala, the only reason that such an incident is hilarious is specifically because you wouldn’t expect this from a woman with Schumer’s figure.
As such, the film aims to be a body positive feature that encourages women to think that beauty and confidence come from within, but the film itself defeats its own message by turning its heroine, who believes in that very message, into a laughing stock. The film may be telling the truth about how society treats beauty, and the standards placed for women to follow, but paradoxically the film’s comical premise originates from the same issue it’s supposedly combating. If audiences actually realise this, then many of them would actually feel guilty for laughing.
The film also supports several stereotypes: beautiful women are shown as either mean, dumb or both. It is as if these characteristics are natural add-ons that come with beauty. Even when Renee is pretty, or thinks she is, for quite some time, she starts being very mean and offensive to her own best friends.
Amy Schumer is a natural comedian and she did quite well in this feature, even if it was a bit too much. Schumer is one of the few people that could focus the audience on the laughs and not on the mean place the laughs are coming from.
If you don’t think about it too much, this is a funny girl’s-night-out kind of flick but, if you take a closer look, the laughter is saturated with a lot of what is actually wrong with society.