The other night Amy Schumer described the basic I Feel Pretty drill: “I play Renee Barrett [and] she has really low self-esteem. She feels really bad about herself. When the trailer came out they were saying I wasn’t disgusting enough to play that role, and thank you. But it’s not about an ugly monster. She just has low self-esteem. She just hits her head in a [workout salon], and all of a sudden she sees herself as a super-model.”
Stephen Colbert: “So you do the pasta and the wine?” Schumer: “Very much so…kind of almost every night…I’m what you look like if you have pasta and wine.”
You understand the system out there, right? You can’t share your honest reaction to Schumer’s appearance, which is that she looked decidedly different in Judd Apatow‘s Trainwreck, which she went on a serious weight-loss program for. Now she seems a good 15 pounds heavier, and — hello? — doesn’t look as attractive. But Schumer can smile at Colbert and say in a matter-of-fact way that she’s what people look like “if they have pasta and wine.” And we’re all allowed to laugh, but only if she says it.
A couple of months ago I explained that Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein‘s I Feel Pretty (STX, 6.20) is basically about the power of a positive self-image. It’s about a plump, bordering-on-fat woman who discovers a wildly positive view of herself after being hit on the head during a workout session. She suddenly sees a total knockout in the mirror. If she thinks she’s beautiful then she is, etc.
The premise, I added, “is similar to that of John Cromwell‘s The Enchanted Cottage (’45). It was about a disfigured Air Force pilot (Robert Young) falling in love with a shy, homely maid (Dorothy Maguire), and how their feelings for each other transform them into handsome/beautiful, at least in their own eyes. The audience saw them as highly attractive also but the supporting characters in the film didn’t.”