I FEEL PRETTY — Review by Susan Granger

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Certainly no one knew that Amy Schumer’s ‘empowerment’ comedy would be released the same week that intrepid Southwest Airlines pilot Tammi Jo Shults safely landed her crippled aircraft. But timing is everything. In the aftermath, no one asked Ms. Shults about her dress-size or brand of make-up. That’s irrelevant in a world where a woman’s training, skill and intelligence are valued far above her physical appearance. But not in insecure Renee Bennett’s world, where a woman is judged only by how she looks. So when Renee (Schumer), wearing a bra and spanx, sees herself in a full-length mirror, she’s filled with self-loathing. Continue reading…

Renee’s only wish is to be beautiful. Working in Chinatown in the squalid, tech-support office of a global cosmetics company (think Estee Lauder/Revlon), she’s too timid to apply for a receptionist’s job in the fancy Fifth Avenue headquarters.

Then she falls off a bike in a SoulCycle class, suffering a concussion. Suddenly, Renee is delusional, convinced that she’s not only gorgeous but irresistible to men.

Miraculously self-confident and energetic, Renee not only lands that receptionist’s job but also becomes an integral part of the company’s new Target marketing program under the aegis of CEO Avery LeClair (Michelle Williams). Plus, she brazenly picks up a boy-friend (Rory Scovel) at the dry cleaners.

Unfortunately, after that early powerhouse scene in front of the mirror, first-time directors Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, writers of “Never Been Kissed” and “How To Be Single,” deliver clunky, visually ill-timed, rom-com skits and condescending platitudes instead of plausible scenes and clever dialogue.

As for the traumatic head injury that Renee suffers not once but twice, no one seems concerned about a brain hemorrhage, certainly not the clueless SoulCycle staff.

Bottom line: the message about low self-esteem is worthwhile but its execution is muddled, squandering Amy Schumer’s exuberant talent, along with supporting players Michelle Williams, Lauren Hutton, Adrian Martinez, Busy Phillips and Aidy Bryant.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “I Feel Pretty” is a fantastical 5. It’s shallow, superficial sludge.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.