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|I Feel Pretty|
|Music by||Michael Andrews|
|Edited by||Tia Nolan|
|Distributed by||STX Films|
|Box office||$94.5 million|
I Feel Pretty is a 2018 American comedy film written and directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein. The film stars Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Rory Scovel, Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps, Tom Hopper, Naomi Campbell, and Lauren Hutton. The plot involves an insecure woman who, after suffering a head injury, gains extreme self-confidence in her appearance.
The film was released in the United States on April 20, 2018, by STXfilms, and ultimately grossed over $94 million worldwide. It received mixed reviews from critics, with some saying it did not fully commit to its premise or tone, although the performances of both Schumer and Williams were praised.
Renee Bennett is a young woman who struggles with low self-esteem and insecurities over her appearance. Out of a Chinatown basement office, she manages the website for cosmetics firm Lily LeClaire with co-worker Mason, while aspiring to work in their Fifth Avenue headquarters. When a vacancy for a receptionist comes up at HQ, she decides not to apply after reading the job description's emphasis on being the beautiful "face" of LeClaire. One night, inspired by the movie Big, Renee wishes at a fountain to be beautiful, but nothing happens. The next day, Renee falls off her SoulCycle bike during an exercise class, hitting her head and losing consciousness. When she wakes, she has not changed physically, but she believes herself to be astonishingly beautiful.
Because of this perceived change in her appearance, Renee approaches the world with newfound confidence. When a man named Ethan speaks to her innocuously at the dry cleaner, she assumes that he is hitting on her and insists that they exchange numbers. She applies for the receptionist position – during the interview, impressed by Renee's attitude and idealistic admiration for the brand, CEO Avery LeClaire hires her. Renee quickly excels, impressing Avery's brother, Grant.
Renee asks Ethan out, and on their first date, she participates in a "bikini body" contest against women with attractive figures. She wins over the crowd but loses the competition, and tells Ethan that she doesn't need external validation to know she's beautiful. Ethan praises her self-knowledge, and she appreciates his openness over not yet knowing himself. They meet again for a second date in the park for a picnic – after a great evening, they go back to her apartment and spend the night together.
At LeClaire, Renee earns her coworkers' respect with her insight into the company's new diffusion line when she explains how the creative team's luxury sensibilities don't resonate with the new clientele of Target shoppers. Avery admits to Renee that she is insecure over her high-pitched voice – due to this, she feels people don't take her seriously in her work. Avery invites Renee and Ethan to a dinner meeting with Grant and company founder Lilly LeClaire, Avery and Grant's grandmother. Renee quickly builds a rapport with Lilly; to curry favor with Lilly, Avery invites Renee to an important business meeting in Boston, where she'll give a key presentation.
Renee starts becoming more superficial in her treatment of people. She becomes judgemental to the LeClaire visitors that aren't fashionable or glamorous. She alienates her best friends, Vivian and Jane, by ditching them to attend an exclusive party with her coworkers, and by dismissing their attempts at conversation during a group date in an effort to make them seem sexier.
In Boston, she nearly gives into Grant's romantic overtures, but avoids a near-kiss when she receives a message from Ethan. She locks herself in the hotel bathroom to avoid Grant – questioning her sense of self and her own superficial behaviour, she suffers a new head injury in a fall in the shower. When she awakens, she perceives her real physical appearance.
Devastated at the belief that her magical transformation has been reversed and she is no longer beautiful, she tearfully leaves the hotel and immediately returns to New York alone – missing the crucial work presentation she was due to give.
Back in New York, she holes herself up in her apartment – avoiding Ethan and Avery's calls, binge-drinking and eating junk food. Drunk and miserable, she turns up at her best friends' apartment and apologizes for her behaviour – the two friends reject Renee's apology, feeling hurt at her selfishness. Assuming that Ethan will no longer be attracted to her now that she sees herself as no longer beautiful, she breaks up with him over the phone, moments after speaking to him in person while believing he does not recognize her. Ethan, having perceived no physical difference in her, is broken-hearted and hurt by Renee's rejection – and blames himself for having come on too strong and scaring her off.
In an attempt to recreate the physical transformation that she thinks made her beautiful – Renee tries to recreate her original injury at SoulCycle, but completes the workout without incident. She encounters her beautiful acquaintance, Mallory, who is devastated in the locker room over being dumped. She tells Renee that she suffers from low self-esteem, and feels like people assume any beautiful woman like her is unintelligent.
When Renee hears that Mallory is auditioning to model for the LeClaire diffusion line, she realizes that LeClaire is again out of touch with everyday women. She crashes the product launch and, in the course of a presentation where she displays her own before-and-after photos, she realizes that she was never transformed and has always been beautiful. She gives an impassioned speech about women accepting themselves as they are – during the speech, she presents a collage of diverse real women, featuring Vivian and Jane, who appreciate the gesture. Grant and Lilly praise Avery for having the acumen to hire Renee – together, they are key to the success of the new line of products.
Later that evening, Renee goes to Ethan's apartment – she apologizes to him, explaining that her insecurities were related to her feelings about herself and not to her feelings for him. Ethan tells her that she has always been the most beautiful woman in the world in his eyes, and they kiss lovingly and reconcile.
Renee continues to attend SoulCycle, confident and happy with herself as she is and has always been.
On April 17, 2017, it was announced that Amy Schumer was signed on to star in I Feel Pretty, written and directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, and set to commence principal production on the East Coast, particularly in Boston, Massachusetts, in July 2017.
In May 2017, STX Entertainment acquired the UK and domestic distribution rights for approximately $15 million at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. By May 31, 2017, Michelle Williams had joined the cast. In June 2017, Emily Ratajkowski and Rafe Spall also joined. By July 28, 2017, Rory Scovel had replaced Spall, due to a "travel issue" that couldn't be resolved before the shoot, and the film had commenced principal production, with New York City added to the scheduled locations. On August 30, 2017, the supporting cast was announced.
I Feel Pretty was initially scheduled to be released on June 29, 2018, by STX Entertainment, but in February 2018 was moved up to April 27, 2018, due to strong test screening results. The release date was later changed again to April 20, 2018, a week earlier, to avoid competition with Avengers: Infinity War, which after I Feel Pretty's initial move, had itself moved from its May 4, 2018 date to April 27.
As of October 18, 2018[update], I Feel Pretty has grossed $48.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $45.7 million in other territories making it Schumer's highest grossing film outside the US and Canada. The film's worldwide total stands at $94.6 million, against a production budget of $32 million.
In the United States and Canada, I Feel Pretty was released alongside Traffik and Super Troopers 2, and was projected to gross $13–15 million from 3,440 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $6.3 million on its first day, including $1 million from Thursday night previews which was better than the $650,000 made by Schumer's Snatched the year before. It went on to open to $16.1 million, finishing third behind A Quiet Place and Rampage. The opening was lower than both of Schumer's previous two films, Trainwreck ($30 million) and Snatched ($19.5 million) though it would ultimately gross $3m more in domestic box office. In its second weekend the film dropped 49% to $8.1 million, remaining in third. It dropped another 40% in its third week, making $4.9 million and coming in 4th.
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 35% based on 205 reviews, and an average rating of 5.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "I Feel Pretty has a charming star and the outline of a worthwhile comedy – but unlike its suddenly confident central character, it suffers from a fundamental lack of conviction." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore on opening weekend gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ through F scale, with females under 18 giving it an "A+" and females under 25 grading it an "A."
David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "B", saying: "Schumer's latest comedy could have used a few more polishes — it's a little flabby towards the backend, even if its star is totally fine just as she is — but it never slackens in its conviction that the world reflects how you feel about yourself, or in how empowering that can be if you come at it from the right angle." Variety's Peter Debruge gave the film a moderately positive review, saying, "What sets I Feel Pretty apart is the inspired premise that Renee's transformation takes place entirely in her head, while those around her are left befuddled by her sudden change of attitude – a concept that begs the question of why our society encourages women to second-guess their self-image in the first place."
J.R. Kinnard of PopMatters wrote, "The only people who won't be bored by I Feel Pretty are those whom it offends. It's a gross miscalculation that might mean well, but fails to balance the sharpness and delicacy necessary to tackle the emotional carnage wrought by self-hatred. That it forgets to make us laugh is the final insult."
Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, and criticized what he termed the hypocrisy of the filmmakers, saying, "...still: Is it really OK to get off making plus-size jokes just because you tack on a moralizing ending that teaches a lesson about body positivity? Can you have it both ways?" Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune also gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, and said, "I Feel Pretty [succumbs to all the wrong Hollywood contrivances]. It's just not funny or fresh enough, and that has everything to do with the material and how it's handled visually, and nothing to do with the people on the screen."
|2018||MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Comedic Performance||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Comedy||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actress: Comedy||Nominated|
|2018||Legionnaires of Laughter - Legacy Awards||Best Comedy Film||Nominated|
After the release of the trailer, Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere pointed out that elements of I Feel Pretty appeared to resemble the plot of the 1945 film The Enchanted Cottage, without crediting it as an inspiration. Others accused the film of apparently body shaming, with Cosmopolitan writing, "[it's] insulting to anyone and everyone – from Amy herself all the way to women that are larger, less able-bodied...AKA, all the things that are promoted in society to be 'better.'"
Comedian Bill Maher vehemently defended the film against its allegations of body shaming, knocking Schumer's critics on his HBO television show Real Time with Bill Maher, stating, "Tonight I'd like to examine the reaction to Amy Schumer's new film I Feel Pretty, which the professionally offended have decided that even though it's a film by women filmmakers presenting an entirely pro-woman message, it does it the wrong way!"