At the Los Angeles premiere for comedy “I Feel Pretty” starring Amy Schumer, the directors and cast addressed the negative reaction the trailer generated after the film’s message was perceived to be that confidence stems solely from body image.
The film follows Schumer’s character Renee who has low self-esteem until she hits her head and wakes up feeling beautiful and confident. Nothing physically has changed about Renee, but when she looks in the mirror she considers herself “undeniably pretty.”
On the red carpet, co-writers and co-directors Marc Silverstein and Abby Kohn, who have worked together for more than 20 years writing films such as “Never Been Kissed” and “The Vow,” agreed that people should see the movie instead of guessing the message based on the trailer. “We were disappointed because people were discussing a movie that they hadn’t yet seen, which always is going to leave a lot of holes in their understanding,” Kohn told Variety.
Kohn said after showing screenings to men and women all over the country she has found that the body image concern has not been a problem.
Schumer said the intended message is to make women feel “empowered” and to prevent anything from holding them back. “I think if you have anything you’re worried about or you’re afraid someone’s going to insult you — call you ugly, call you fat — it’s a deterrent,” the comedian said. “I don’t want anything keeping women from living up to their full potential and this movie’s about that.”
Co-star Rory Scovel said the meaning of the film is especially important right now as young people are raised in the age of social media. He said it’s important for the younger generation “to see a film that maybe says you are in control of your own value.”
Scovel continued, “You’re in control of your own worth. It’s not what someone else tells you. It’s not what a society or a group tells you to value in yourself; it’s on you to do it.”
Adrian Martinez and Sasheer Zamata, who also star in the comedy, pointed out that Schumer’s character struggling with self-confidence was relatable. Martinez called the movie a “fun” and “humane” approach to discussing self-esteem. “It’s about accepting yourself for who you are and the price you pay to get there,” Martinez said.
Zamata added that viewers should walk away from the movie knowing that despite negative messages and external forces they, “don’t have to look for validation from other people.”
“I Feel Pretty” hits theaters April 20.