Blu-ray Review: I Feel Pretty

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After sharing the spotlight with Goldie Hawn in last year's highly uneven Snatched, Amy Schumer is once again front and center in I Feel Pretty. At the box office, it turned out to be another swing-and-a-miss for the comedienne and Trainwreck star. But rest assured, fans of Schumer should find lots to laugh at in I Feel Pretty. Despite delivering a strangely mixed message, the Abby Kohn/Marc Silverstein co-directed film capitalizes quite effectively on Schumer's charm.

The premise couldn't be simpler: Renee (Schumer) works in the IT department for cosmetics giant Lily LeClaire, hidden away in a remote office and constantly sulking about her non-model looks. It's not that Renee is unattractive. She's just carrying a few more pounds than she'd like and doesn't have the seemingly preternatural confidence of more conventionally "hot girls." After catching the old Tom Hanks comedy Big on TV, Renee prays that she could be stunningly beautiful and a universal target of adoration by all who lay eyes on her. A hard hit to the head at a spin class (former SNL member Sasheer Zamata has some priceless moments opposite Schumer) leaves Renee under the delusion that her wish has come true.

Though not quite a body-switching movie, since Renee is exactly the same woman she was before the accident, formula kicks in quickly. Renee wants out of her basement office in order to sit behind the receptionist's desk at Lily LeClaire. She assumes all men are incessantly flirting with her, leading to a new relationship with Ethan (Rory Scoval, wonderfully understated). Her best friends Vivian (current SNL'er Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Philipps) not only don't get what's come over their friend, they begin to resent her newly-acquired snobbishness, a result of being embraced by a more stylish clique. At Lily LeClaire, Renee's confident exuberance gets her noticed by Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams, fully disappearing into her role)—and quickly promoted.

I Feel Pretty never quite takes flight, but it works as well as it does on the strength of Schumer's likability. She plays Renee like an everywoman, for whom true success and progress is just out of reach due to a lack of self-esteem. The film's most potent message is one we've heard a million times: whoever you are, whatever you look like—own it, regardless of what others might think. That might sound hackneyed, but the presentation feels fresh thanks to Schumer's conviction and that of the colorful supporting cast. The film manages to shoot itself in the foot, however, with its weakest message: no matter how confident a woman may be, she still needs cosmetic products to feel pretty? That's not exactly progressive.

Universal's Blu-ray edition of I Feel Pretty includes a selection of deleted scenes, a gag reel (which I usually find cloying, but this one is actually really funny), and a featurette, "Being Pretty." Or at least I expected a featurette. It was in fact a less-than-one-minute promo clip featuring a couple uninteresting interview bits from the cast. Too bad no interview or commentary with Schumer, but again the film is strong enough to support repeat viewings and that's what counts in the end.

I Feel Pretty is available on Blu-ray (and standard DVD) on July 17, 2018. Easily recommendable to any Amy Schumer fans or rom-com enthusiasts in general.

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Chaz Lipp is a Las Vegas-based musician and freelance writer. His new jazz album 'Good Merlin' is now available.

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