Pretty Ugly People (DVD Review)15 Dec, 2009 By: Angelique Flores
Prebook 12/16/09; Street 1/12/10
Stars Missi Pyle, Melissa McCarthy, Jack Noseworthy, Octavia Spencer, Allison Janney.
Billed as a comedy, this film plays more like a drama.
Missi Pyle leads a great ensemble cast and plays Lucy, who assembles her best friends from college to meet her in Montana. Once dangerously overweight, she wants to surprise them with her new trim form. To get them there, she implies that she is dying. Instead she wants them to go on a four-day hike with her and be there with her while she loses the last four pounds to reach her goal weight.
Austin is a flight attendant whom everyone thinks is gay. George is actually gay, but deep in the closet, and is a big jerk who insults everyone. Becky is an overweight (baby weight, she calls it) schoolteacher who
wears sweatshirts with puffy paints and is married to uptight Richard. Raye is an uptight politician who doesn’t like that his wife, Mary, likes rap and ribs and speaks ebonics. Trevor, the nicest and most normal one of the bunch, is a record producer whose wife left him because of his physical shortcomings.
Lucy herself is judgmental about all of her friends’ flaws, selfish for deceiving them and pressuring them to go on this trip, and shallow for thinking that being skinny means being pretty and happy.
It’s hard to believe these people were best friends in college. And it’s even harder to believe that they’d drop everything for someone that they hadn’t seen in so many years.
Forcing all these characters together obviously doesn’t make for an enjoyable camping excursion, which blows up in Lucy’s face.
The storyline is clever, but plays out in such a heavy-handed way with so many messages to get across that it’s a little hard to swallow. Thankfully, the strong cast carries the film and portrays the characters as regular flawed humans, rather than the “ugly” people the film’s title implies, which makes it enjoyable to watch.