I Feel Pretty review round-up: Amy Schumer's feminist comedy termed 'problematic' by critics
Amy Schumer is one of the most popular faces in an industry that has always been dominated by, well, men. Amy rose to fame gradually; first as a stand-up comedian, and later as the lead in mainstream Hollywood comedy. Her latest offering, I Feel Pretty, is her most ambitious yet.
Amy Schumer has established herself as an unabashed and an unapologetic feminist, and I Feel Pretty, according to Amy, is a feminist film. It helps women who have always hated their bodies to come to terms with their natural beauty without giving much mind to what the world says and thinks about it. But not everyone has seen I Feel Pretty in the same light.
Let's first breakdown the plot of I Feel Pretty before getting into why it is being criticised. Amy Schumer plays Renee, a woman who feels deeply insecure because of how she looks. One day, after waking from a fall, Amy's character starts believing she is a supermodel which makes her feel empowered. The rest of the movie explores what happens when she realises her appearance never changed.
One article in Cosmopolitan reads:
"If the characters on screen are ripping apart Renee for being positive about her own body, for being confident in herself and the way she looks, what is that saying to people watching? To me, it reads like a big flashy sign saying, "DO YOU LOOK LIKE AMY SCHUMER? YOU SHOULD HATE YOURSELF." Which, frankly, is insulting to anyone and everyone — from Amy herself all the way to women that are larger, less abled-bodied, less cis and less white, AKA all the things that are promoted in society to be 'better'."
People have been criticising I Feel Pretty for even considering Amy Schumer as someone not pretty or attractive enough. The following tweets by comedian Sofie Hagen explains why people are finding I Feel Pretty problematic.
So the new Amy Schumer movie is about a woman who is half an inch from being conventionally Hollywood attractive (but rest-of-the-world attractive) who thinks she's rest-of-the-world-attractive? I have never been more confused in my life.
— Sofie Hagen (@SofieHagen) February 9, 2018
Amy Schumer is blonde, white, able-bodied, femme and yes, thin. She IS society's beauty ideal. So they give her a ponytail and remove her make-up and suddenly she's ugly? Why not just give her glasses or a fatsuit? What is wrong with this world?
— Sofie Hagen (@SofieHagen) February 9, 2018
Who is this meant to resonate with? Before we can enjoy the premis, surely we have to buy into the fact that she is not pretty. How many of us are bigger than her? Are we supposed to accept that THIS is ugly when it's all we've been taught that we should aim for? — Sofie Hagen (@SofieHagen) February 9, 2018
Amy Schumer feels like Hollywood's excuse. Like, LOOK, we put a FAT UGLY woman on TV because she has a teeny-tiny belly and also in this scene she doesn't wear make-up, so now we've fixed it. We're not longer shallow. Fuck the fuck off. — Sofie Hagen (@SofieHagen) February 9, 2018
Critically, the movie hasn't been well received either.
A review in IndieWire said, "Schumer’s latest comedy could have used a few more polishes — it’s a little flabby towards the backend, even if its star is totally fine just as she is — but it never slackens in its conviction that the world reflects how you feel about yourself, or in how empowering that can be if you come at it from the right angle."
Rolling Stone wrote, "The movie itself should dissipate the rancor a bit – it's more harmless fluff than toxic agitprop. But still: Is it really OK to get off making plus-size jokes just because you tack on a moralizing ending that teaches a lesson about body positivity? Can you have it both ways?"
The review in the Chicago Tribune read, "It’s just not funny or fresh enough, and that has everything to do with the material and how it’s handled visually, and nothing to do with the people on the screen."
The Atlantic wrote, "This movie, premised on the idea that self-esteem trumps physical beauty, doesn’t even believe in the product it’s selling."
I Feel Pretty will release in India on 29 June. Apart from Amy Schumer, it also stars Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Rory Scovel, Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps, Tom Hopper, Naomi Campbell, and Lauren Hutton.
Updated Date: Apr 24, 2018 15:29:10 IST
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