“I don’t know how it happened,” says Renee (Amy Schumer) to best friends Vivian and Jane (Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps). “I looked in the mirror — and I’m beautiful! Even though I’m this different, very hot person, I know I’m still Renee!” What she doesn’t know is that she’s delusional, the result of a sudden bonk on the head at exercise class. Now, looking in a mirror, she sees a drop-dead, gorgeous supermodel, instead of the pleasantly plump Renee everyone else sees. That’s the setup for this sometimes funny rom-com.
Do Renee and Ethan (Rory Scovel), who meet cute at the drycleaners, fall for each other? Does Renee get her dream job at Lily LeClaire’s global, high-end cosmetics firm? How will Renee deal with her delusion when it ends? For answers, see “I Feel Pretty.”
Amy Schumer owns the movie: on-screen from beginning to end, she’s also one of the film’s producers. As smart, klutzy Renee Bennett, she works in a basement office, managing LeClaire’s corporate website, but sees herself as a glamorous receptionist high up in the executive suite. Boyfriend Ethan — nicely played by Rory Scovel — likes her as she is: “You’re so yourself,” he says, “funny, fearless and smart!” But pre-bonk Renee doesn’t think so. Obsessed with weight and self-esteem issues, her wish is to be beautiful. Movie audiences will like Renee and want her to be confident and happy, but her delusion leads to sometimes cringe-worthy scenes. Aidy Bryant and Busy Philipps are Renee’s wacky best friends, Vivian and Jane, trying hard to understand post-bonk Renee. Michelle Williams plays squeaky-voiced Avery LeClaire; Tom Hopper is hunky brother, Grant.
Others in the cast include real-life models Emily Ratajkowski and Naomi Campbell. Lauren Hutton has a cameo as matriarch Lily LeClaire.
“I Feel Pretty,” written and directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, is well-meaning. It’s a modern fairy tale. Renee, as Joe Morgenstern in the “Wall Street Journal” says, “is a self-enchanted Cinderella.” No fairy godmother turns Renee into a princess; here she’s transformed by a bonk on her head at Manhattan’s SoulCycle exercise class. “Why do you care what other people think of you?” best-friend Jane asks. It takes a while but (spoiler) Renee comes to her senses and celebrates her true self in the film’s big finale.
Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity and language, “I Feel Pretty” runs 110 minutes. Not a great rom-com, but its heart is in the right place.
Beauty comes from within,
That’s “I Feel Pretty’s” plot;
A modern-day fairy tale,
But enchanted, it is not.