I Feel Pretty: Why Amy Schumer Was The Perfect Actress To Play The Lead

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The decision to watch I Feel Pretty is entirely dependent on whether you like Amy Schumer. 

The actress/comedian Amy Schumer is one of the most polarising figures in modern times.  With I Feel Pretty, it’s all about Schumer as she hams it up on screen.

The Plot of I Feel Pretty

The plot is basically a mixture of bizarro Shallow Hal and every other movie which uses body swapping and identity crisis plot devices.

In this instance, we have Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer), someone who is insecure, has low self-esteem and body-image issues. She works for the Leclaire Cosmetics online department (a two person team).

For Renee her main motivation in life is to be pretty; she even gains inspiration from everyone’s favourite identity changing movie Big.

Thanks to a concussion, Renee believes her wish has come true. Everyone else however sees the same old Renee.

Renee checks herself out
Renee checks out her “new” abs. Source: Variety

This plot device (it was part of the trailer), caused outrage online (where else?!) as it seemed to push the message that the only way people can have high self-esteem is to look beautiful.

What the twittersphere missed (because they passed judgement after only seeing the trailer) was that even though Renee had low self-esteem, her friends Vivian (Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Phillips) were the ones encouraging her to join them on a dating site called “Grouper”.

Renee and friends.
Renee, Vivian and Jane checking out Grouper. Source: KQUED

Furthermore a beautiful and smart business woman like Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams) also believes she has flaws and has insecurities trying to meet her mother’s standards.

Renee also manages to pick up a random guy named Ethan (Rory Scovel) with this new found confidence and catches the attention of Grant Leclaire (Tom Hopper).

Why Schumer was the best fit.

In her stand-up and other works, Schumer has built a reputation on embracing female authenticity. She is honest about a multitude of issues that burden women, of which body image is only one of. As a result, her portrayal of Renee arrives loaded with immediate realness.

If any other Hollywood A-lister actress played the main role, I certainly would not have found it believable. I mean, can you imagine actors like Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts in the same role? It would be, quite simply, out of their character.

The movie is overwhelmingly reliant on Schumer’s transformation from a person with low self-esteem to a beaming, happy go lucky, high in self-confidence person who is working her dream job as a receptionist in a cosmetics company.

Schumer toes the line from someone who is experiencing a manic, confused mental state and someone whose self-confidence leads to them not caring what anyone else thinks, because they are happy with what and who they are.

Perhaps the best way to magnify Renee’s transformation and showcase Schumer’s comedic skills was Renee gatecrashing a bikini wearing contest with a mixture of one-liners and interesting dance moves.

Renee high in confidence
Renee crashes a Bikini Wearing contest. Source” yourtango.com

Conclusion

Amy Schumer was the perfect choice because she was believable in her reactions to both low and high moments for her character.

And thanks to another head knock, Schumer manages to realistically portray Renee’s self confidence evaporating, while the people who have known her as “High Self Confident” Renee are puzzled at Renee cutting off contact, terrified at how they would see her as a fraud.

The reviews may go into depth about the body positivity and body shaming angle, potentially filled with criticisms. And maybe that’s understandable – I am unequipped to comment.

What I will say though is that if you love Amy Schumer and want to have a hearty laugh (watch for Renee pouring her heart out to Ethan, while doing some shallow nose picking), then I Feel Pretty is well worth a watch.

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