Editorial: Why I Feel Pretty is 2018’s Most Underrated Film So Far..

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In a year filled with massive blockbusters such as Marvel‘s Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, or even smaller offerings such as  John Krasinski‘s A Quiet Place, and laugh-out-loud gut busters such as Kay Cannon‘s Blockers, and John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein‘s Game Night, there’s bound to be some gems that gets buried out by the overwhelming barrage of blockbusters nowadays.

Amy Schumer‘s I Feel Pretty is one of  them…

At face value, the film doesn’t seem all that impressive. I remember the first time i saw the trailer, i was at a 2pm showing of Black Panther and my first reaction was; “oh great… they’re re-making Shallow Hal” and you’d be forgiven if that’s your first reaction. The trailer was well… shallow, promoted this movie in such a condescending way that they might as well have a giant marquee saying throughout the trailer “please bear with us!”.

But the film is so much more than that…

I Feel Pretty is a story of discovering one’s true self, a story that is not only relevant in these times of social media, and preposterous beauty standards, but features a deep cut in the root of all the problems we face in our daily life; our mind.

Our lead character Renee Bennett played by Amy Schumer struggles with how she perceives herself, she finds herself unattractive, she’s dissatisfied with her weight, and she feels as if she’s constantly losing out to other women who she considers far prettier than her. She then decides things have to change, Renee gets a gym membership, sits on a exercycle and within 2 minutes she falls down, and hits her head so hard she faints.

Renee then wakes up but she feels different, she then looks in the mirror and she sees a whole new person. Now, this is a premise could’ve been so dumb, another body-swapping premise that’s been exhausted to the point of absurdity. But here’s where the movie truly ups its game…

Her looks don’t change…

We still see Renee as the way she was, no she doesn’t magically transform into a Victoria Secret-esque super model. She stays the same  as she was, except for 1 significant thing;

Her perception of herself…

With this method of storytelling, Schumer‘s character gets to do something incredibly rare in film, which is simply be. Throughout the film we see Renee doing just about everything, excelling in just about anything she participates in. Adding up to all of this, Renee’s new outlook on life becomes incredibly infectious towards others, and she starts changing the world around her as well.

Hollywood hasn’t really delved much into the world of mental health (other than the plethora of films featuring the excessive romanticization of serial killers, and sei_9834136psychopaths)I Feel Pretty opens up a very interesting corner for future film-makers to further discover. While it excels in it’s main objective which is exploring the mind of Renee Bennet, it’s pretty lacking in some of it’s comedic sensibilities, and even in some places the acting can get pretty cringeworthy. But despite these flaws, I Feel Pretty still stands mighty with its charm.

Now coming back to planet earth, I Feel Pretty made about $49million dollars domestically, not exactly a homerun but it’s pretty decent for a film of its calibre. But there’s another thing worth talking about…

The (Not Surprising) Backlash

When tackling an issue such as this one must look within, which i have, and i’m without a doubt guilty of this as well. While I Feel Pretty wasn’t critically praised, that isn’t the issue at all. Films are subjective, and even myself, a self proclaimed fan of this film https_blueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.comuploadscardimage7570723cd1a933-bc63-4929-93b5-bb822d1d3d09pointed out some of its glaring issues. But there’s a fine line between line of disliking or critiquing a film, and simply just being mean. Even before its release, people were already betting on I Feel Pretty to fail. Heck… even before a trailer was released.

Simply hearing the premise made their ears bleed for some reason, and let’s face it… we know the reasons. Because confidence only makes sense when it’s expressed by a Brad Pit, or incredibly fit supermodels like Gigi Hadid and others. “Amy Schumer feeling confident about herself? Fuck that! Stop spreading your agenda you fat cow!.

When a supermodel shows her body off it exuberates confidence, but when it’s a plus size model it’s considered attention seeking, “trying too hard” and fully deserving of all the beratement it’s going to get. It’s an archaic perception put into our heads for the longest time, and as I Feel Pretty has proven, perception is a powerful tool if properly manipulated.

Featuring a premise that seeks to shatter an archaic perception that we’ve had for far too long. I Feel Pretty is bold, witty albeit flawed.

I Feel Pretty is now available on Digital HD, and Blu-Ray.

 

 

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