ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"I Feel Pretty" Movie Review

Updated on January 3, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life, he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

I Feel Pretty
I Feel Pretty | Source

From her early stand-up days to Comedy Central series, Amy Schumer made a name for herself by being as outrageous and outspoken as humanly possible. The more taboo and flinch-worthy, the better, and her career skyrocketed. So why does she insist on being so damn bland on the big screen? Schumer followed up the solid comedy Trainwreck in 2015 with last year’s Snatched, which crashed and burned, and now I Feel Pretty is sure to follow suit, taking a somewhat clever and potential-laden premise only to (yawn) play it safe.

Starring as Renee Bennett, Schumer strolls through the movie like she’s content just to be there, optimistic that its feminist message (which the script then proceeds to undercut—more on that later) is enough to get people into the seats.

It’s not.

Renee is frustrated with her appearance (she looks...normal?), mopey that her job involves her manning a website for makeup giant Lily LeClaire from a closet in Chinatown, and sad that most nights involve hanging with her friends Vivian (Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Phillips). It’s not a terrible life, to be sure, but Renee spends most of her waking hours wishing she was as beautiful as a waifish, skin-and-bones model.

After conking her head during an unfortunate SoulCycle accident, she wakes up and believes she’s as beautiful as she’s always dreamed. Of course nothing has changed (it’s all in her head), but what she sees when she looks in the mirror ups her self-esteem, giving her the confidence to stroll the streets as if they were a catwalk. While she’s at it, she applies to become the receptionist at the LeClaire headquarters, coincidentally at the same moment that the company decides to launch a diffusion brand for regular Janes.

Before long Renee is being given creative control under the guidance of Avery LeClaire (a phenomenal Michelle Williams) and starts dating Ethan (an oddly subdued Rory Scovel). She’s entering bikini contests in seedy bars, she’s turning down what she thinks are advances from Avery’s hunky brother, and she starts treating her friends like crap.

And that’s when I Feel Pretty lost me.

The whole concept of the movie is that self-confidence is (or could be) all that’s needed to turn around the social stigma against women who aren’t “conventionally pretty”, and it works for Renee early on. But when she starts getting full of herself and adopting the same elitist and condescending personality of the "perfect" women she’s been railing against, it undermines the entire message of the movie. What if she conked her head, got a boatload of self-confidence, and was still a decent person? Wouldn’t that have been more in consistent and productive as a self-affirming message?

The other issue is that I Feel Pretty is based on the idea that it’s the woman herself who needs to make the change and that society as a whole (including the media and fashion brands) bear no responsibility. Add this all to the fact that Schumer herself doesn’t seem terribly invested in the movie (she’s outshone by virtually the entire cast), and the end result is a movie that seems to have its heart in the right place without knowing quite how to use it.


2/5 stars

'I Feel Pretty' trailer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)