Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty” opened on April 20 to mixed reviews and average box office numbers, but it’s now found an unlikely ally two weeks into its theatrical release. HBO late night host Bill Maher devoted an entire segment during the May 4 episode of “Real Time” to address the backlash against Schumer’s film and specifically call out publications who took issue with the movie’s message.
“The professionally offended have decided that even though it’s a movie by women filmmakers, presenting a pro-woman message, it’s does it the wrong way,” Maher said. “Schumer remade ‘The Nutty Professor,’ where someone not thin, and not cool, magically sees themselves as better looking and gains confidence. Except, when Eddie Murphy did it, he didn’t have the Purity Police up his ass.”
“I Feel Pretty” has been accused of promoting unhealthy messages about body image. Some outlets even wrote that the movie’s storyline supported fat shaming. The plot centers around Amy Schumer’s Renee Bennett, an ordinary woman who begins to see herself as the most beautiful woman in the world after suffering a head injury at Soul Cycle.
Maher called out numerous film reviews that criticized “I Feel Pretty’s” agenda. The late night host criticized The Hollywood Reporter for writing the film had a “questionable message of empowerment,” Rolling Stone for calling the movie “fat shaming,” and the LA Times for asking, “Wouldn’t a bolder, more progressive version of this story have cast a women of color?” Maher also slammed The Independent for judging the film as soon as the first trailer came out, writing the movie “seems so offensive, it’s frankly exhausting.”
“Can’t we just sit in a movie theater, un-clench our assholes for two hours, and laugh at what it is, instead of dissecting it for what it is not?” Maher asked. “Movie reviews, they’re not even reviews any more. They’re just, ‘How come you made the movie you made and not the one I would have made?’”
“I Feel Pretty” is now playing in theaters nationwide. Watch Maher’s segment on the Schumer-starring comedy below.