I Feel Pretty

I Feel Pretty

2018, PG-13, 110 min. Directed by Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein. Starring Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Rory Scovel, Emily Ratajkowski, Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps, Tom Hopper, Naomi Campbell, Lauren Hutton, Sasheer Zamata.

REVIEWED By Steve Davis, Fri., April 20, 2018

Amy Schumer is the reigning queen of self-deprecating comedy, a smart cookie who’s her own favorite punch line. In a memorable episode of her Comedy Central series that brilliantly parodied the gritty 1957 courtroom drama 12 Angry Men, an all-male jury mercilessly deliberates whether Schumer is hot enough to star in her own television show, picking her looks apart as if performing an autopsy. “She’s built like a lineman, and she has Cabbage Patch-like features,” grumbles a particularly harsh Paul Giamatti in trying to persuade the lone holdout in the group to join a verdict of “Not Bangable." It’s a brutally funny sketch about the objectifying male gaze, one that showcased the comic’s razor-sharp knack for satire and her fearless willingness to expose herself to the point of humiliation when calling out the hypocrisy of the boys' club and women’s passive acquiescence to it, way before #MeToo became an ubiquitous hashtag.

So why can’t this gifted (and frequently polarizing) comedian better translate her talents to the movies? The so-so Trainwreck and the execrable Snatched both compromised the thing that makes Schumer’s wit so titillating – her square-peg perspective on gender politics, even when the laughs are at her own expense. The encouraging premise of her third leading-role film, I Feel Pretty, is tailored to her uniquely feminist weltanschauung: An insecure woman with body image issues (Not thin enough! Not sexy enough! Not attractive enough!) is knocked unconscious, only to wake up to believe she’s become an idealized version of the female form, giving her the confidence of the Vogue cover girl or Victoria’s Secret runway model she now sees in her reflection. Although the film overtly takes its cue from the 1988 wish-fulfillment comedy Big, the transformation of Schumer’s Renee is unlike the physical one Tom Hanks’ character experiences. She looks exactly the same, but her attitude has pivoted 180 degrees, a mental makeover that makes her – as the cliche goes – beautiful, on both the inside and the outside.

Without actually seeing the movie, Schumer’s detractors have sniped I Feel Pretty reinforces societal expectations about the way women should look, based solely on the trailers divulging the movie’s provocative setup. Those people are idiots. While you could claim Schumer sometimes wants to have it both ways here (for example, why is her nude scene so coyly shot at shadowy angles?), in the end the film sincerely (although clumsily) speaks to women about embracing who they see in the looking glass without wishing they saw somebody else. What ultimately disappoints here, however, is the conventionality of the movie’s narrative arc, its mushy characterizations (as the cosmetic company heiress who befriends Renee, a squeaky-voiced Williams is utterly dispensable), and a rushed conclusion that ties up the loose ends with a sloppy bow that diminishes the movie’s message. In her sketch comedy show, Schumer kowtowed to no one, but in her movies, you get the impression the class clown secretly wishes to be the most popular girl as well. Maybe the mirror has two faces after all.

Showtimes

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 2:20, 8:10
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 2:20, 8:10

Fri., May 25

CC/DVS 2:10

Sat., May 26

CC/DVS 2:10

Sun., May 27

CC/DVS 2:10

Mon., May 28

CC/DVS 2:10

Tue., May 29

CC/DVS 10:50am

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Wed., May 23

digital 10:30am
digital, luxury lounger 10:30am

Thu., May 24

digital 10:30am

Wed., May 23

digital 10:45am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 10:45am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 10:00

Cinemark Movies 8 Round Rock

2120 N. Mays, Round Rock, 512/388-2848

Discounts daily before 5pm.

Fri., May 25

digital 11:15am, 2:00, 5:00, 7:45, 10:20, 11:30

Sat., May 26

digital 11:15am, 2:00, 5:00, 7:45, 10:20, 11:30

Sun., May 27

digital 11:15am, 2:00, 5:00, 7:45, 10:20

Mon., May 28

digital 11:15am, 2:00, 5:00, 7:45, 10:20

Tue., May 29

digital 11:15am, 2:00, 5:00, 7:45, 10:20

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Wed., May 23

digital 1:05, 4:10, 7:10, 10:15
digital, luxury lounger 1:05, 4:10, 7:10, 10:15

Thu., May 24

digital 1:05, 4:00

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 23

digital 4:25, 10:15
digital, luxury lounger 4:25, 10:15

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Wed., May 23

10:20

Thu., May 24

1:15, 4:15

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 4:10, 10:25

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 1:20, 9:40

Thu., May 24

CC/DVS 1:20

Fri., May 25

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:25, 5:00

Sat., May 26

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:25, 5:00

Sun., May 27

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:25, 5:00

Mon., May 28

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:25, 5:00

Tue., May 29

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:25, 5:00

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Wed., May 23

1:00, 4:00, 6:40, 9:15

Thu., May 24

1:00, 4:00, 6:40, 9:15

Southwest Theaters at Lake Creek 7

13729 Research #1500, 512/291-3158, www.southwesttheaters.com

matinees $2, 6pm and after $3, $1.50 extra for 3-D; $6 for special engagements

Fri., May 25

CC 11:20am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Sat., May 26

CC 11:20am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Sun., May 27

CC 11:20am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Mon., May 28

CC 11:20am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Tue., May 29

CC 11:20am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Wed., May 23

11:10am, 1:40, 4:10, 9:30

Thu., May 24

11:10am, 1:40, 4:10, 6:50

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 10:45am, 1:30, 4:10, 7:30, 10:05

Thu., May 24

CC/DVS 10:45am, 1:30, 4:10

Fri., May 25

CC/DVS 2:00, 6:45

Sat., May 26

CC/DVS 2:00, 6:45

Sun., May 27

CC/DVS 1:30, 6:15

Mon., May 28

CC/DVS 2:00, 6:45

Tue., May 29

CC/DVS 1:45, 4:20, 6:55, 9:30

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Amy Schumer Films
Thank You for Your Service
American soldiers return from Iraq and try to readjust to civilian life

Marjorie Baumgarten, Oct. 27, 2017

Snatched
A mother/daughter vacation from hell

Steve Davis, May 12, 2017

More by Steve Davis
Breaking In
Getting locked out of your house without keys has never been more dangerous.

May 18, 2018

Disobedience
Rachel Weisz explores the complexities and joys of choice in Britain's Jewish communities.

May 11, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

I Feel Pretty, Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Rory Scovel, Emily Ratajkowski, Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps, Tom Hopper, Naomi Campbell, Lauren Hutton, Sasheer Zamata

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2018

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle