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I Feel Pretty (2018)
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 7/17/2018
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/16/2018
I don't know about you, but when I watch a movie, I'm there to be entertained. I have enough stress in my daily life, so it's a bonus if it's the kind of film where I can simply focus on the joy of the story and not think about anything else. Having said that, if a movie wants to be deep or have a message, I certainly don't have a problem with that. I can certainly do "serious" movies and many of my favorites would fall into that category. However, the message must be clear and strategic, and not muddled like the apparent point in I Feel Pretty.
Amy Schumer stars in I Feel Pretty as Renee Bennett, who works for cosmetic giant Lilly Leclair. Unfortunately, instead of working in the company's shining Manhattan building, she's stuck in a small office overseeing their website. She enjoys spending time with her friends, Vivian (Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Philipps). Renee also spends time at the gym, as she longs to improve her appearance. After falling off a stationary bike, Renee hits her head and when she comes to, she sees herself as a completely different person, who is beautiful and skinny. Assuming that no one will recognize her, she applies for a receptionist job at her company and gets the position based on the confidence she now exudes. Avery Leclair (Michelle Williams) immediately sees Renee as a window into the company's new mass-market products. Overjoyed with her new job and her perceived new look, Renee tackles life with gusto, but is she leaving everything that she had behind?
In the event that you've been living under a rock (do people really do that), Amy Schumer burst onto the scene about a decade ago, when she appeared as a finalist on Last Comic Standing. In 2013, following several successful stand-up specials, Inside Amy Schumer premiered on Comedy Central. However, Schumer also received some backlash during this period, as she was criticized for her raw material and was also accused of stealing jokes from other comics. This didn't stop her 2015 filmTrainwreck from being a hit. Still, Schumer has become somewhat of a lightning rod and there are those who wonder when her 15 minutes will be up.
I Feel Pretty shows that Schumer clearly still doesn’t care what people think of her, as she lays it all out there as Renee. She’s not shy about showing her body or her face without makeup. But, this only further taints this film’s confounding message. The movie seems to be saying that it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, as long as you are happy with yourself. That’s a fine message. And yet, Renee goes to the gym and struggles to perfect her makeup. And yet, when Renee thinks that she is beautiful she suddenly has the confidence to flirt and go for the new job. And yet, Renee’s newfound confidence goes overboard and she starts to act differently towards her friends now that she thinks that she’s one of the beautiful people. And yet, the movie ends with a heartfelt speech about being yourself. The movie is simply all over the place and can’t decide what it wants to say about beauty and self-confidence.
Having said that, I know that most viewers won’t be approaching I Feel Pretty for the social commentary, but for the comedy. And they aren't going to get much of that. Writers Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein have attempted to tack some jokes onto the movie's confusing and pedestrian plot, but most of them fall flat. Most of this relates to the movie attempting to conform to Schumer's brand of humor. Renee saying "diarrhea" over and over simply isn't funny. There are a few smile-worthy moments in the movie, but the true laughs are few and far between.
The best part of I Feel Pretty is Michelle Williams. She's one of those actors who only seem to appear in deadly serious movies, so it was very interesting to see her in this role, and she nails its. As the squeaky-voiced Avery, Williams character is the only thing in the film which feels fresh and the movie becomes much more interesting when she is on-screen. Other than that, I Feel Pretty is a missed opportunity. We certainly need more movies which let women know that it's OK to feel comfortable just being themselves, but I don't think that's what this particular film is saying.
I Feel Pretty was apparently financed by SoulCycle and Target on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 38 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no notable grain and no defects from the source materials. This is a very colorful movie, and those colors look very good here, especially pastels. The image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is good, and the depth works well, most notably in the outdoor shots. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 5.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The nightclub and gym scenes deliver impressive surround and subwoofer effects, with some of those rear channel effects providing nice detail. The stereo effects are also good, as they highlight sounds coming from off-screen, but noticeably in the street scenes.
The I Feel Pretty Blu-ray Disc contains just a few extra features. "Being Pretty" (1 minute) has the cast giving their own personal definition of pretty. The Disc offers six DELETED SCENES which run about 9 minutes. Most of these are brief and there are no new characters or subplots here. The final extra is a 5-minute GAG REEL.
Review Copyright 2018 by Mike Long