I Feel Pretty is not a traditional rom-com

Amy Schumer’s New Movie challenges concepts about feminism

Rachael Jaeger
Staff Writer

What I appreciated about I Feel Pretty is not only addressing of how girls and women feel forced to fit a specific body type, but the movie also examines different kinds of women and who they are.

Renee, Amy Schumer’s character, has two friends for instance, one of whom wears guy’s style clothing, while the other is overweight and happily parades around with graphic tees.

I Feel Pretty encourages women to embrace who they are and at the same time, evokes an awareness and a deeper love for others who are different than them, not just in their dress, but who they are as people.

In Film Theory and Criticism with Steve Rybin, we as a class discussed how the camera focuses on its female subjects. During the Classical Hollywood period, females would be considered the passive voices in films and the object of solely a male spectator. But in I Feel Pretty, Schumer challenges how an audience sees her and her fellow actresses in the twenty-first century.

The first irony is that Renee hits her head hard during a bike exercise session at SoulCycle, an ironic name and sets the tone for the movie. SoulCycle implies a recycling of inward reflection at yourself and how you will achieve your desire to change what you want to change.
For Renee, it is her body and she constantly looks in the mirror and verbally expresses her unhappiness and how she will never move up in the world because she doesn’t look a certain way.

However, when she is with her two best friends, Jane (Busy Philipps) and Vivian (Aidy Bryant), the audience wonders Renee’s reason for her discontentment.
Vivian is more overweight than Renee and happily parades in graphic tees while Jane has her own sense of style, an interesting androgynous fashion type. Vivian’s personality is hyper and bubbly while Jane is ended, I wish I could step into that world and get to know these characters—which for me is the mark of a great movie, just like a book.

Overall I Feel Pretty has a way of subtly interacting its audience through the characters and evokes awareness in the audience about their own insecurities.
For example, Avery LeClair (Michelle Williams), the head CEO of a beauty line company, has such a small voice that verges on the edge of a squeal and so no one takes her seriously. It annoyed me when I first heard her to the point I even turned to my friend Jennifer who I had gone to the movie with and remarked about how much I disliked her voice. I also realized it was because of my insecurities about my own voice because sometimes when I talk to others and many times they won’t hear me.

What made me feel ashamed of my opinion of her is when she broke down later to Renee. I would like to believe bigger companies with representatives would have their authenticity but often I feel they force their attitudes because they have to express confidence to sell their image. Regardless I appreciate how I Feel Pretty challenged that expectation and reconciled her with her grandmother, Lily LeClair (Lauren Hutton) who launched the company.

But throughout the movie, Renee also experiences a growing period in other people she runs into, mostly by accident and including a guy, Ethan (Rory Schovel) whom she ends up dating.

When they first bump into each other at the dry cleaners, she tells him where to go since she assumes he doesn’t know and to exert her own confidence. It amuses him so he asks her for her number but she ends up giving him his instead and their first date is at a bar where girls are participating in a bikini contest.

On random, Renee decides she will join the contest and Ethan expresses some unease and while she does embarrass herself, he ends up cheering for her since she goes out of her comfort zone.

Another thing I appreciate about the storyline is how it breaks stereotypes. Ethan is a quiet-spoken and sensitive person and he embraces the flaws of other people, especially Renee and rather, he still loves her because she has them.

Despite after she has a mental breakdown in which she calls him in public and tries to break up with him, he wants to talk to her and figure out what went wrong rather than running away.

In short, I Feel Pretty is a revolutionary explosion of personalities and how they function among friends, coworkers, family and especially the self. It provided for plenty of laughs, too, and it is because Schumer played herself well.

If you feeling stumped or down about yourself and need an uplifting cinematic experience at any point this summer, this should be a top choice to watch for in discount theaters or Redbox.

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