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Schumer & Vermont Highway Patrol in Theaters

Hope Madden Hope Madden Schumer & Vermont Highway Patrol in TheatersPhoto via IMDb.
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In the mood for some middling comedy, eh? It is everywhere this weekend. When does summer get here?

I Feel Pretty

Trainwreck, the 2015 big-screen break out for comic Amy Schumer (and LeBron James and John Cena) offered a wise about-face for the rom-com.

Written by Schumer, the film simultaneously embraced and subverted tradition by basically casting a female in the traditionally male role of eternal adolescent who accidentally finds love and, therefore, adulthood.

She returns to the romantic comedy with I Feel Pretty, a film that is neither romantic nor comedic, unfortunately.

Schumer plays Renee Bennett, a perfectly attractive woman.

So there’s your first problem.

I will give writers/directors Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein credit for one thing. When Bennett hits her head at a spinning class and wakes up believing she’s traffic-stopping gorgeous, at least the film does not stoop to showing us the flawless physical image Renee sees in the mirror. Thanks for that.

So, it’s only after a traumatic brain injury that Amy Schumer can consider herself attractive.

Now she has all the confidence she needs to go after that receptionist gig at the big cosmetics firm. (Wait! A romantic comedy where a receptionist can afford a small but cool NYC apartment? Yes, that checks out.)

Things take a turn for the better whenever CEO Avery LeClair (Michelle Williams) appears onscreen. Her weirdly spot-on performance as the baby-voiced heiress is a riot—and the only unpredictable moments in the film belong to her.

Schumer does what she can with this superficial, blandly written script. She has excellent chemistry with her co-stars, regardless of their underwritten roles. But, when you have a comic talent like Schumer on the bill, and you still cannot think of anything funnier than seeing a pretty woman fall down, your writing is weak.

Let’s not even address the fact that all Renee wants in life is to work for a cosmetics company and maybe, if we all dream big enough, she might be the new face of a cosmetics line!

Jesus.

In summation, I Feel Pretty is Big meets Shallow Hal, if those films suggested that all Tom Hanks needed was confidence enough to believe he should be objectified, then all would be well.

Can Amy Schumer just write the next Amy Schumer movie? Please?

Grade: C-

Super Troopers 2

If you’ve been holding your breath for another Super Troopers, let’s face it, you’re long dead.

But after 17 years, the Broken Lizard gang is back with more of the same stupid gags from that doofus crew in the Vermont Highway Patrol.

Well, technically, the crew has been relieved of duty since the “Fred Savage ride-along incident,” but destiny finds them at the Canadian border. After a rare border reassessment, a small Canadian town (with a winning Rob Lowe as the local mayor/bordello owner) is set to become a small American town, and Captain O’Hagan (Bryan Cox) gets the old team back together to ease the jurisdictional switch from Mounties to VHiPs.

Apparently based on an actual border situation, the film digs in for plenty of sophomoric antics about polite Canucks, boorish Yanks, body parts, bad puns and how each side pronounces “sorry.” There are easy targets and cheese aplenty, but some laughs do get squeezed out, mostly from sheer commitment to the familiarly low bar of the original.

Grade: C


Also opening in Columbus:
Beauty and the Dogs (NR)
Final Portrait (R)
Indivisible (NR)
Love After Love (NR)
Traffik (R)
Vampire Clay (NR)
Wildling (R)
You Were Never Really There (R)

Reviews with help from George Wolf.

Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her weekly film podcast THE SCREENING ROOM.

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