Film Review: I FEEL PRETTY (USA 2018)

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I Feel Pretty Poster

A woman struggling with insecurity wakes from a fall believing she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. Her new confidence empowers her to live fearlessly, but what happens when she realizes her appearance never changed?


I FEEL PRETTY is an Amy Schumer vehicle which she produces and stars in.  The simple premise  revolves around Renee Barrett (Schumer), an ordinary woman who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on a daily basis.  During a cycle fit spin class, she suffers a big fall and wakes up from it believing she is the most beautiful and capable woman in the world, despite looking the same she has always looked.  With this new found confidence she is empowered to live her life fearlessly and flawlessly.

It is expected that a film based on one joke would quickly run out of steam.  This is obvious when the film has to resort to a nose picking joke at the film’s climax.  There are few surprises in this lazy comedy which runs like a predictable Harlequin romance from start to end.  

Renee has to learn that being pretty means pretty on the inside and not on the outside.  This means that the audience has to be drummed with this obvious message.  The message comes unashamedly at the end when Renee delivers a full blown speech on how the most important thing in life is oneself and not the outward beauty.  Awkward enough, for a film that is supposed to have an anti-pretty message, it is very noticeable that most of the cast are good-looking.  The most ridiculous is the one scene where it can be observed that all the extras walking down the street in NYC are drop-dead gorgeous.

The cast includes Lauren Hutton who has been absent from the screen for quite a while, playing the matriarch of the LeClaire cosmetics company.  Also in the cast is model Naomi Campbell who has earned the horrid reputation of being a terrible human being to work with on set.  It would be interesting to hear what trouble this one has caused on the set.

Schumer is  perfect in the role of Renee, being pretty, yet not pretty enough.  Schumer is brave enough to show off her not-so-perfect body, especially in the bar bikini contest segment, one of the film’s few spirited moments.  Michelle Williams is just plain awful here but Tom Hooper is a good sight for sore eyes.

The film runs similar along the lines as the last comedy release BLOCKERS.  Mildly funny at best, both films run out of jokes and surprises very fast.  I FEEL PRETTY has the joke on Renee’s fall happen 30 minutes into the movie.  The first 30 minutes shows Renee in her everyday life, which is as plain and unfunny as the person.  Example: the long stretched joke about the wide shoe size is a used joke that is ‘stretched’ too long for its own good.  Like the entire film.

The film might appeal as a feel-good movie for audiences that need to feel better about their appearances.  Still, if the film contains enough hilarious comedic set-ups, this film might have been worth a visit.


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Film Review: SNATCHED (USA 2017) ***

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snatched.jpgWhen her boyfriend dumps her before their exotic vacation, a young woman persuades her ultra-cautious mother to travel with her to paradise, with unexpected results.

Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Katie Dippold
Stars: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Kim Caramele

Review by Gilbert Seah

 Written by Katie Dippold, inspired by her own relationship with her mother, the new Mother’s Day comedy SNATCHED follows the unexpected adventures of a daughter Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) and mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) when they get kidnapped while vacationing in Ecuador.
The script offers plenty of opportunities for hilarity. The story calls for Emily to be jilted by her boyfriend (Randall Park). She convinces her single mother, who never goes out to vacation with her. While on holiday, Emily’s constant flirting with men causes her to be conned on a day trip where she drags mother along. It is a trap for a kidnapping and ransom. Their escape means a possible hilarious escape through the Amazon while dodging bullets and arrows. Throw in a few very odd characters like Emily’s agoraphobic brother who is a mamma’s boy, two fellow tourists who are supposed to be experts on South America, jungle doctors and a Indiana Jones adventurer who is dying of cancer and one might expect a big hit comedy.

Not quite! The many opportunities for comedy result in the film often being all over the place. This fact might be good in a way, as it escapes the trap (almost) of dealing with the past broken mother/daughter relationship. To director Levine and scriptwriter Dippold’s credit, a few of the comedic set-ups are really funny – laugh-out loud funny.

The segment in which Emily is discovered with a tropical ailment – the infection of a tapeworm is inspired madness. The local doctor lures the tapeworm out (a monster of a reptile equivalent to anything from the ALIEN films) with a chunk of meat before the monster worm squirms itself out of Emily’s mouth.

The prized comedic performance goes to Ike Barinholtz as Jeffrey, Emily’s crazy brother who she initially despises. But when he discovers his mamma (that is what he calls her in the film) and sister kidnapped, he bravely leaves the house, contacts the American Embassy and leads a rescue mission in Colombia. Barinholtz , who has never been anything short of hilarious (remember him as the loud laughing clown in NEIGHBORS TWO) totally steals every single scene in this movie. It is hard not to laugh every time he utter the word ‘mamma’. Goldie Hawn who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress way back when in CACTUS FLOWER still proves she has the acting chops. In the one dramatic scene where she stands by her principles touting her unthankful work of a mother, she demonstrates once again a superior screen presence. John Cusack and Wanda Sykes play a ‘gay’ couple who help rescue Emily and Linda. Cusack’s military stunts are perfectly timed for hilarity.

The film does not shy away from being an adult comedy. Schumer showcases her breast in one funny scene. There are quite a few killings in the film, though the bad men are the ones accidentally shot or speared.

Despite the film’s few flaws, SNATCHED has lots to enjoy – Goldie Hawn on the scene again, scene stealer Ike Barinholtz, Joan Cusack’s acrobatics and mostly, the priceless laugh-out loud moments.



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