I Feel Pretty is not as ugly as the internet claims it is.
In her newest project, Amy Schumer plays Renee Barrett, a woman of average attractiveness who gains self-esteem and confidence after an accident at SoulCycle. With her newfound positive attitude, Barrett wins over everyone while learning a few things about herself along the way.
The message is quite obvious: self-acceptance. In an image-obsessed society, it may be difficult to understand that love must come from within first.
Before her accident, Barrett is insecure — even declining to apply for a receptionist position at her company, in fear that she is not pretty enough to be one. Although this plot point is ridiculous, it’s not hard to sympathize and perhaps completely understand where Barrett is coming from.
Everyone struggles with their image, some more than others. Initially, Barrett is just one example of a normal person who dislikes how they look — she uses humor to cope, thinking the self-deprecating thoughts that everyone has. After the accident, though, Barrett starts to dislike anyone she deems unworthy of her beauty and attention.
There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance, and unfortunately for Barrett, she goes from one to the other. This action is a consequence of self-acceptance, and Schumer is telling everyone to not become like the arrogant Barrett. Being pretty on the outside doesn’t change who you are on the inside.
It’s not the message that holds the movie back — it’s almost everything else. The jokes seem forced more than once, the acting turns cringeworthy at parts and the conviction of the message peters out somewhere in the middle with its attempt at subplots.
What’s most irking is that Barrett seems to tell her viewers that self-acceptance is as simple as flipping a switch, when it most definitely is not. A little more diversity in characters would have spread Schumer’s message of self-acceptance even further, too.
Despite the general consensus, I Feel Pretty is rather clever. It makes people uncomfortable because everyone can relate to Barrett to some extent. The film is a romantic comedy, but it’s a romance in a different sense: Barrett falls in love with herself, and once she does — without any accidents — everything falls into place.