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|I Feel Pretty|
Theatrical release poster
|Music by||Michael Andrews|
|Edited by||Tia Nolan|
|Box office||$88.4 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 grossed over $88 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 Schumer and Williams were praised.
Renee Bennett is a young woman of average physical attractiveness and fitness, who struggles with insecurity over her appearance. Out of a Chinatown basement office, she manages the website for cosmetics firm Lily LeClaire while aspiring to work in their Fifth Avenue headquarters. But she declines to apply for a receptionist position there 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, hitting her head, and losing consciousness. When she wakes, she has not changed physically, but she believes herself to be astonishingly beautiful.
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; 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 date, she participates in a "bikini body" contest against women with idealized 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. She brings him to her apartment, and they have sex.
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 questionable voice. 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.
Renee becomes less respectful of LeClaire visitors, who 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. Questioning her sense of self, she suffers a new head injury in a fall in the shower. When she awakens, she perceives her real physical appearance.
Devastated and believing a magical transformation has been reversed, she immediately returns to New York alone. Vivian and Jane reject Renee's apology. Assuming that Ethan will no longer be attracted to her, she breaks up with him over the phone, moments after speaking to him in person while believing he does not recognize her. Ethan is brokenhearted and confused. Renee tries to recreate her original injury at SoulCycle, but completes the workout without incident. She encounters her beautiful acquaintance, Mallory, 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 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 displaying her own before-and-after photos, realizes that she was never transformed. She gives an impassioned speech about women accepting themselves as they are. She presents a collage of diverse women, featuring Vivian and Jane, who appreciate the gesture. Grant praises Avery for having the insight to hire Renee. The latter reconciles with Ethan, who tells her that she is the most beautiful woman in the world. She continues to attend SoulCycle.
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 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 June 24, 2018[update], I Feel Pretty has grossed $48.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $39.6 million in other territories making it Schumer's highest grossing film outside North America. The film's worldwide total stands at $88.4 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). 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 33% based on 192 reviews, and an average rating of 5.3/10. 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 47 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
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|
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!"