Amy Schumer is so likable in the early stages of this fable that I found myself actively rooting for the movie. I wanted it to be good, as poignant and believable as its leading character. Alas, I Feel Pretty runs aground and never regains its equilibrium.
Schumer plays an underpaid, overworked, overweight New Yorker who carries bad luck like an albatross around her neck. Then, after throwing a coin into a fountain one night and blacking out at her gym the next day, she undergoes a magical transformation. She finally has everything she’s dreamed of–but it’s all in her head. She hasn’t changed a bit, but the belief that she is beautiful and stylish makes her a new, super-confident woman.
This leaves her two frowsy best friends (Busy Philipps and Aidy Bryant) in the dust. Where once they were the three musketeers they now watch dumbfounded as their pal goes after her dream job as a receptionist at a sleek, high-end cosmetics firm run by Michelle Williams. (The company was founded by her grandmother, who is played by the still-chic Lauren Hutton.) Schumer even acquires a too-good-to-be-true boyfriend (Rory Scovel).
I Feel Pretty wears its believe-in-yourself message on its sleeve. This might work better if its heroine didn’t become so obnoxious and its story so convoluted. Likable performances sink under the weight of the heavy-handed screenplay by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, whose credits include Never Been Kissed and He’s Just Not That Into You. The longtime writing partners make their directing debut with this vehicle for Amy Schumer.
Good intentions abound in this glossy wish-fulfillment comedy, but the results are decidedly disappointing.