The movie work Amy Schumer has done to date suits her well, which is no easy feat, since the singular comedy brand she has established has generated certain expectations of her.
“I Feel Pretty” stays true to that, giving her a terrific conceit to work with. She plays a cosmetics-company worker who’s aware she doesn’t match the physical perfection that the firm promotes … but what if she thought she did? That happens when an accident in a spin class leaves her envisioning herself as the hottest of the hot, though everyone around her sees her the same way they always have physically.
That set-up lets Schumer plug into the in-your-face humor she’s known for, and she approaches others with the supreme self-confidence of a supermodel, and it’s fun to watch. It definitely helps if you go in already being a Schumer fan, but regardless, she stays true to her image. And especially when it comes to a comedy star, you can’t blame a performer for sticking with what they know works for them.
Of course, her character eventually will have her moment of reckoning. Among the co-stars helping her get there are Lauren Hutton as the cosmetics firm’s founder, Michelle Williams – who’s wonderfully funny in her own right here – as Hutton’s granddaughter and employee, and “Saturday Night Live’s” Aidy Bryant.
In terms of Schumer’s career overall, “I Feel Pretty” comes at an interesting time. “Trainwreck” was an out-of-the-park hit for her, in no small part because she also wrote it, while “Snatched” had only moderate success as she entrusted others to know what to do with her now-famous persona. Though she’s only an actress-for-hire again with “I Feel Pretty,” it treats her better in the sense that it really knows what to do with her. Its issue of body-shaming is something she’s dealt with in her own material, so the match of star and story is a logical and pretty (so to speak) effective one.
“I Feel Pretty” was written and directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, the team that also yielded Drew Barrymore’s “Never Been Kissed” almost 20 years ago. Because of its theme, some people consider that a beloved classic … and even if it might not seem like it now, don’t be surprised if “I Feel Pretty” comes to be viewed in a similar way as the years go on. And to that end, also having Amy Schumer’s particular touch doesn’t hurt it at all.