A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that I Feel Pretty is a comedy starring Amy Schumer as Renee, an insecure New Yorker who, after a head injury, wakes up believing that she's been magically transformed into a "hot" beauty -- although she looks exactly the same to everyone else. Renee's newfound confidence allows her to live her best life (i.e., be happy and go after what she wants). Expect strong language ("s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," etc.), some kissing, flirting, and racy conversations, as well as one sex scene with implied nudity (bare shoulders, legs, thighs, silhouettes) and pillow talk. Characters also drink, at least once to excess. Despite some raised eyebrows about the movie's concept/story, its ultimate message is that self-assurance and self-esteem -- not outward appearance -- are what's important and that everyone is attractive in their own way.
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What's the story?
I FEEL PRETTY follows single New Yorker Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer), who's extremely insecure about her looks and feels inadequate compared to the statuesque models who seem to surround her in the city. After suffering a head injury in spin class, Renee blacks out. When she wakes up, she believes her dream of transforming into a gorgeous beauty has magically come true. No one in the movie (or anyone watching it, for that matter) can see how Renee imagines herself, but her new sense of confidence empowers her to live boldly and without fear of rejection. She starts to charm others, who believe she simply has an outsized ego, and she lands a new job for cosmetics heiress Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams), as well as a new boyfriend, Ethan (Rory Scovel). But eventually Renee's belief in her own beauty begins to affect how she treats and perceives others, including her best friends (Aidy Bryant and Busy Philipps).
Is it any good?
Schumer's considerable physical comedy skills, paired with standout supporting performances, make this "go girl" comedy a fun pick for a ladies' night at the movies, despite some inconsistency. It's hard not to laugh when Schumer is so good at making an insecure, at times even unlikable character transform into what seems like a woman who's very comfortable with her body and herself. The problem, of course, is that the audience can't tell whether Renee is seeing her true self and just now believes she's hot as-is, or if her obvious concussion has magically caused some kind of Shallow Hal situation in her mind, making her see herself like her fellow SoulCycle classmate, a model played by Emily Ratajkowski.
Williams is hilarious as Avery, a cosmetics CEO who must impress her grandmother (who started the company). Avery's employees initially balk at the idea of a size 10 woman being in their presence, until Renee wins them all over with her charm. The romance between Renee and Ethan is adorable and easy to buy into, but there's also a somewhat off-putting, difficult-to-believe chemistry between Renee and Grant (Tom Hopper), Avery's womanizing brother. The movie works best when Renee is with Ethan or her best friends, lovingly played by Bryant and Philipps (who happens to be married to the co-director, Marc Silverstein). The two besties, who don't share in Renee's crippling insecurity and don't understand why all of a sudden she's acting like she is, are the real beauties of the film, because they don't require a transformation (either imagined or real) to be their true selves.
Talk to your kids about ...
What does Renee learn about confidence, body acceptance, and friendship by the end of the movie? Can you think of other movies that celebrate and empower women and girls?
How does the movie depict sex? How do the male and female characters relate to one another? How are they defined by each other?
- In theaters: April 20, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: July 17, 2018
- Cast: Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Busy Philipps
- Directors: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
- Studio: STX Entertainment
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, some partial nudity, and language
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