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I Feel Pretty (film)

I Feel Pretty
I Feel Pretty.png
Directed by
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music byMichael Andrews
CinematographyFlorian Ballhaus
Edited byTia Nolan
Production
company
Distributed bySTX Films
Release date
  • April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20) (United States)
Running time
110 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$32 million[2]
Box office$94.5 million[2]

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.[3][4]

Plot

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.

Cast

Production

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.[9]

In May 2017, STX Entertainment acquired the UK and domestic distribution rights for approximately $15 million at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.[10] By May 31, 2017, Michelle Williams had joined the cast.[11] In June 2017, Emily Ratajkowski and Rafe Spall also joined.[12][13] 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.[14] On August 30, 2017, the supporting cast was announced.[7]

Release

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.[15][16] 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.[17]

Reception

Box office

As of October 18, 2018, 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.[2]

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.[18] 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.[19] In its second weekend the film dropped 49% to $8.1 million, remaining in third.[20] It dropped another 40% in its third week, making $4.9 million and coming in 4th.[21]

Critical response

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."[22] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[23] 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."[19]

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."[24] 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."[25]

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."[26]

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?"[27] 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."[28]

Accolades

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Comedic Performance
Amy Schumer
Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Comedy
I Feel Pretty
Nominated
Choice Movie Actress: Comedy
Amy Schumer
Nominated
2018 Legionnaires of Laughter - Legacy Awards Best Comedy Film
I Feel Pretty
Nominated

Controversies

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.[29] 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.'"[30][18]

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!"[31]

References

  1. ^ "I FEEL PRETTY (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "I Feel Pretty (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  3. ^ Huff, Lauren (April 18, 2018). "'I Feel Pretty': What The Critics are Saying". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  4. ^ K. Austin, Collins (April 20, 2018). "Review: I Feel Pretty Is Perfectly O.K.—And Maybe That's All Amy Schumer Needs Right Now". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  5. ^ Ford, Rebecca (June 22, 2017). "Amy Schumer's 'I Feel Pretty' Adds Rafe Spall (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  6. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 31, 2017). "Michelle Williams Joins Amy Schumer In 'I Feel Pretty'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Galuppo, Mia. "Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps Round Out Cast for Amy Schumer Comedy 'I Feel Pretty'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  8. ^ Ford, Rebecca (July 28, 2017). "Amy Schumer's 'I Feel Pretty' Adds Rory Scovel (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 17, 2017). "Amy Schumer To Star In 'I Feel Pretty'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 25, 2017). "STXfilms Buys Amy Schumer Pic 'I Feel Pretty': Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 31, 2017). "Michelle Williams Joins Amy Schumer In 'I Feel Pretty'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  12. ^ Busch, Anita (June 20, 2017). "Emily Ratajkowski Joins Amy Schumer In 'I Feel Pretty' Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  13. ^ Ford, Rebecca (June 22, 2017). "Amy Schumer's 'I Feel Pretty' Adds Rafe Spall (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  14. ^ Ford, Rebecca (July 28, 2017). "Amy Schumer's 'I Feel Pretty' Adds Rory Scovel (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 14, 2018). "Amy Schumer's 'I Feel Pretty' Now Ready for a Spring Debut". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media.
  16. ^ Lee, Ashley (July 13, 2017). "Amy Schumer Comedy 'I Feel Pretty' Gets Summer 2018 Release". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  17. ^ Grebey, James (March 6, 2018). "'Infinity War' Prompts Small Romance Movie to Change Release Date". Inverse. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  18. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (April 17, 2018). "Amy Schumer's 'I Feel Pretty' Tracking to Open Behind 'Trainwreck,' 'Snatched'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  19. ^ a b Busch, Anita; D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 22, 2018). "'A Quiet Place' Still Noisy With $21.7M As 'Rampage' Beats Chest, 'Super Trooper 2' Surprises – Sunday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 29, 2018). "'Avengers: Infinity War' Conquering 'Force Awakens' With Record $248M-$250M Opening; Posts Record $82M Saturday". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  21. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 6, 2018). "'Avengers: Infinity War' Is Second-Fastest Pic To $400M With Second-Best 2nd Weekend Ever At $112M+ – Sunday". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  22. ^ "I Feel Pretty (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  23. ^ "I Feel Pretty Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  24. ^ Ehrlich, David (April 18, 2018). "'I Feel Pretty' Review: Amy Schumer's Body Positive New Rom-Com Is No Train Wreck". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  25. ^ Debruge, Peter (April 18, 2018). "Review: 'I Feel Pretty'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  26. ^ Kinnard, J.R. (April 18, 2018). "'I Feel Pretty' Leaves You Feeling Pretty Bad". PopMatters. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  27. ^ Travers, Peter (April 18, 2018). "'I Feel Pretty' Review: Is This Amy Schumer Comedy Fat-Shaming Away the Funny?". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  28. ^ Phillips, Michael (April 18, 2018). "'I Feel Pretty' review: Amy Schumer's fable about fat-shaming is frankly depressing". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  29. ^ Wells, Jeffrey (April 13, 2018). "Some People Just Don't Do Carbs". Hollywood Elsewhere. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  30. ^ Cieply, Michael (April 12, 2018). "As Molly Ringwald Turns On 'The Breakfast Club,' Dare We Laugh at Amy Schumer's 'I Feel Pretty'?". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  31. ^ Romano, Nick (May 5, 2018). "Bill Maher defends Amy Schumer's I Feel Pretty against 'peak snowflake' critics". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 6, 2018.

External links