Cinema Dispatch: I Feel Pretty


I Feel Pretty and all the images you see in this review are owned by STX Entertainment

Directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein

You know, I should really watch Trainwreck at some point.  I mean I have it RIGHT here on blu ray, and yet I’ve never found the time to pop it in and see what it’s all about which would HOPEFULLY give me a bit of perspective on Amy Schumer because after seeing precisely one of her movies, I’m not sure if I get the appeal.   Now that’s not to say I’ve written her off yet, especially when the premise of THIS film seems rather intriguing if they can pull it off, but my rather limited track record with her has left me feeling a bit cold whenever she comes up.  Still, this does seem like a film that can play to her strengths while also having a positive message about self-esteem and body positivity, so let’s hope this is the one where I finally get it and become a fan!  Does this manage to live up to its rather clever premise without falling into the obvious pitfalls it sets up for itself, or will this fall flat on its face as it trips over its good intentions and lands smack dab into offensiveness?  Let’s find out!

Renee (Amy Schumer) is a typical middle of the road white woman in the big city.  She’s got a decent job, good friends (Aidy Bryant and Busy Phillips), a nice place, but she’s still unhappy with her life and is constantly searching for ways to fill that gnawing sense of emptiness that keeps us all up at night.  Her solution?  LOOK PRETTY!  She spends all her time trying to learn beauty tips, experimenting with her makeup, and working out to try and lose weight which I’d say are doing their job just fine, but she’s bought into the unobtainable beauty standards that society has pushed on us, and so no matter how good she looks she’s still not happy about it.  If only this were more like THE MOVIES where you could wish for a better life and POOF!  It just happened!  Well… it kind of does here!  During one of her spin classes, she falls off the bike and smacks here head which I guess isn’t the IDEAL way of initiation a body switch, but there wasn’t a Zoltar machine nearby so they had to go with plan B.  When Renee wakes up, she looks exactly the same, but every time she looks in a mirror she sees PERFECTION!  The body she’s ALWAYS wanted is staring right back at her and she couldn’t be happier!  She’s so happy in fact that she applies for the job she always wanted as a receptionist at a cosmetics company run by Avery LeClaire (Michelle Williams) and gets the job due to just how confident and pleasant she is in the interview despite not having the body type they usually hire for that position.  Things get even better from there as she starts helping Avery with her upcoming “regular folks” line of product (Renee being a FORMER normal person gives her insight into what average consumers are looking for in their makeup products) and she even meets a guy (Rory Scovel) who loves her outgoing and fearless personality!  Still, how long will she be able to keep up this momentum before society inexorably tries to knock her down a peg for not being the perfect body type?  Will she ever find out the truth and learn to accept herself for who she is rather than the fantasy she’s built up in her mind?  Who’s to say that her beauty wasn’t on the inside the whole time!?  And on the outside too!  She looks pretty great as far as I can tell!

“I AM sexy, and I know it!”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: I Feel Pretty”

Cinema Dispatch: We Are Your Friends


We Are Your Friends and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Max Joseph

How many music movies are we going to get this month!?  Straight Outta Compton is still dominating the box office, Rikki and the Flash came out just before that, and now we have this movie about Electronica artist?  Well while those movies were banking at least somewhat on nostalgia and music from decades ago that everyone’s familiar with, this one’s trying to be a bit more modern with a genre that while being around since at least the eighties, hasn’t become prominent in the mainstream until the last five or six years.  Not only that, but the movie also has a fairly significant draw in Zac Efron who’s been really trying to stretch himself creatively in the last couple of years in order to distance himself from his Disney super star days, and has actually been succeeding for the most part.  Are we getting another classic rise to stardom story with a fresh coat of paint, or is this going to be an unbearable slog despite it being about a genre of music that’s underrepresented in cinema despite its popularity in the pop world?   Let’s find out!!

The movie is about Cole (Zac Efron) who’s a struggling Electronica artist in the San Fernando Valley.  Like most creative types, he spends half his time working on his trade and the other half not doing much else, but he clearly has a passion for what he does and has aspirations to be one of the best.  His three friends are Mason, Ollie, and Squirrel (played by Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez, and Alex Shaffer respectively), and they don’t seem to have much going on in their lives either.  Much less in fact considering that aside from Shiloh Fernandez (who half-heartedly wants to be an actor), none of them even have much of a dream to be striving towards and are just running out the  clock on their twenties.  They’re all still young even if the actors are clearly pushing thirty, but they are reaching the point in their lives where they can’t keep goofing around and have to either commit to whatever goals they have or move on to something else.  Opportunity comes a knocking for Cole as he finds himself chatting up another electronica artist called James (Wes Bently) who has indeed made it in the industry and the two of them become friends in a sort of mentor mentee relationship.  As with all music stories though, there has to be something to strain the friendship and in this case it’s James’s assistant Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski) who Cole starts crushing on immediately despite her relationship with James outside of her role as his employee.  Will Cole be able to handle the modicum of success that slowly starts to take form now that he knows someone in the industry who’s willing to give him a chance?  Will everything fall apart because he’s a dumb ass twenty-something that refuses to find ANY other person to fall in love with?  Will his friends… do other stuff?

“So do we get our own stories?”     “Hey, whoa!  Which of us was in High School Musical?”     “You’re right Mr. Efron.  I’m sorry for getting out of line…”
“So do we get our own stories?”     “Hey, whoa!  Which of us was in High School Musical?”     “You’re right Mr. Efron.  I’m sorry for getting out of line…”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: We Are Your Friends”