Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer) is a normal, healthy 30-something woman with major self-esteem issues. The film starts off by immediately establishing this in a series of short moments of her day to day life. She visits a clothing store where she is told by a clerk that her size may be better found on their online store. She visits a Soul Cycle class. In the locker room, she encounters a woman who far more matches Western beauty standards: thin, young, classic features. This woman is surprisingly friendly to Renee, asking if she too is there for the first time. This takes Renee aback as she is not used to beautiful women being kind to her. Renee then tries to participate in the class, but her bicycle seat collapses underneath her and slams into her groin, injuring her. (This is not because of her body weight but because the seat was not properly screwed in, but she takes it personally.)
That night Renee gets together with her two best friends, Vivian (Aidy Bryant) and Jane (Busy Philipps.) In getting ready to meet them, Renee tries to follow along with styling instructional videos on YouTube but fails. She also reads gossip about the LeClaire family.
After meeting up, the three sign up for a dating service where groups of three friends go out on triple-dates, and they discuss how no one on dating apps ever looks past the picture. They pose for group photos and decide on one to upload to the site. Then they go out for drinks and dancing. Renee's lack of self-confidence makes it difficult for her to get drinks at the bar. When Renee gets home that night, she undresses in front of the mirror and feels badly over her body and appearance.
The next day we discover Renee works for LeClaire Cosmetics. However, she works in a dingy basement office in Chinatown and dreams of working at the main office downtown. Her schlubby coworker Mason (Adrian Martinez) tries to make conversation with her but it's awkward, and ultimately he tells her that he masturbated the night before. Renee's job is to photograph cosmetics for display on the company website. Someone has complained that something she photographed is more orange in real life than in the photos, and she is frustrated with her job.
We cut to the downtown offices where Avery LeClaire, a beautiful and thin woman with a baby voice, is in a meeting with her staff. She is overseen by her mother Lily (Lauren Hutton,) who has founded their company. They have launched a line of less expensive and more accessible cosmetics for sale at retails stores like Target, but they are not selling well, and the advertising campaign is tanking. Lily realizes that because of her wealth and beauty Avery has a disconnect with the product line and doesn't understand how to properly market it.
The day after that, Renee runs into the woman from Soul Cycle at a Target store. She starts asking her about what it's like to be so beautiful, and while conversing, a man comes over. He interrupts them to flirt with the other woman, referred to Renee as a Target employee and calling her a man. He's extremely rude, and the other woman tells him she isn't going to give him her number. He leaves, and Renee marvels at what it must be like to have that happen all of the time.
Later at work, there is a server issue, so Renee must print out a bunch of informational reports and hand deliver them to the downtown office. She arrives, and interacts with the beautiful but rude receptionist, who is just an intern. She sees Lily walk through the office and is in awe. She finds out that the company is looking for a permanent receptionist, and despite the fact that it would technically be a step down in both title and pay, she longs to have the job just to be around the beautiful and wealthy people.
At home that night she is watching the Tom Hanks movie “Big.” It is the scene where he wishes to be bigger. In a moment of fancy, she runs outside into the rain and throws a coin into a fountain. She wishes to be beautiful. After making the wish, she looks into her mirror compact and is sad to see it did not come true.
The next day Renee goes to Soul Cycle class. She makes sure to screw down her seat properly this time. The class instructor shouts out motivational phrases about destiny and miracles happening, and it seems as if she is being spoken to specifically. Shortly after starting the class, her shoe detaches from the cycle, and she falls and hits her head, ripping a clump of hair out in the wheel of another bike. She goes unconscious.
When she wakes up, she is in a locker room. An employee (Sasheer Zamata) is looking over her. She offers an ice pack and a free bandanna. As Renee comes to, she starts to notice her limbs, starting with her legs and then arms. She seems to be reacting to them as if there's something wrong, and the employee is concerned. Renee then looks in the mirror and is stunned to see that she has transformed into an incredibly beautiful, physically fit version of herself. (Except she hasn't. She is hallucinating/imagining it.)
Now believing that the world sees her this way, she begins to behave with the confidence of a woman who has these features. She goes to pick up her dry cleaning, and behind her in line is Ethan (Rory Scovel.) They strike up a conversation, and Renee jokes that the dry cleaner calls out people's numbers at random. Ethan asks what her number is, and she believes he is hitting on her. She forces him to exchange phones so they can enter one anothers' number in each others' phone. Rory is bewildered by her confident, outgoing personality, even as she is handed her vomit-covered clothing (the dry cleaner couldn't get it out.)
With her newfound confidence, Renee submits her resume for the receptionist position and is called in to interview. She goes into the office where everyone reacts to her as if they are surprised she is there. She takes this in the wrong way, assuming that she seems out of place because she is SO beautiful that she would never bother for such a position. She interviews with Avery and Helen (Naomi Campbell). They keep giving indicators that they don't think she's the right fit, but again she takes this to mean that they don't understand why she wouldn't pursue modeling, or confusion as to why she would take a step-down in pay. Because of her overwhelming confidence, she gets the job, but also Avery sees potential to have an “every woman” nearby from whom she can get advice on how to market their new budget cosmetics line.
Renee meets up with her friends and tries to ease them into believing that it's her, believing they see the “new” version of herself. She tries to offer up facts only she would know, including that they all planned on getting 90210 themed tattoos (which Vivian did before the other two bailed.) Because she doesn't look any different, the two go along with the situation. The trio checks their dating app profile, but it has not even been viewed. Renee suggests they take a new photo with her new beautiful body as it will get more attention.
Renee goes back to her old office and bids goodbye to Mason, who is attempting to take a dump while she speaks to him. She says he should have hit on her when he had the chance, and he begs her to leave him alone so he can finish. She leaves, and starts her new receptionist job. Renee goes into the job with confidence and a great attitude. She stocks fresh cold water in a mini fridge under her desk and provides visitors with a straw. A woman arrives for a meeting and based on how Renee looks, assumes she is in the wrong place, but Renee wins her over with a great attitude and friendliness.
It turns out Grant LeClaire is observing Renee, and he approaches her to say hello. Renee is slightly overwhelmed and confesses that she knows about him and has followed him in the media. She even stocked a green health beverage in her mini fridge in case he came by, because she saw him drinking it in a tabloid. She jokes about the many women with whom he is linked, and fears he is offended, but he is clearly refreshed by Renee's great attitude. He even mentions how impressed he is that Avery hired her.
Later Renee is bringing water on a tray to a staff meeting about the new budget makeup line and accidentally knocks a blush compact out of an employee's hand. She kneels down to pick it up and notices there is no applicator in the packaging. Avery gently scolds Renee, pointing out that if she were more familiar with the brand, she would know none of their blushers include applicators. Renee says that although she did know this, she just assumed a budget version would include one. She points out that the everyday woman buys these products and puts them on on-the-go, in many situations, and doesn't bring along brushes of her own. She may be doing so in the car, for instance, and is forced to apply with only he finger. Avery graciously thanks Renee for this valuable input. (Renee is never condescending or unkind to Renee, and her interest in what she has to say seems genuine and never an attempt to take advantage.)
That evening Renee calls up Ethan and under the guise of making it easier for him to ask her out because of her beauty, she asks him out instead. He has no recollection of who she is. The two have a day out walking around together, and they end up at a beach bar that is having a bikini contest. Renee desperately wants them to go inside, so they do. Ethan says if she's into watching it, so is he, until she reveals she wants to enter and win the $500 prize. Ethan is concerned for her, and though he doesn't say it out loud, he is obviously worried she will be mocked or insulted. All the other contestants are very young and thin.
Renee gets up on stage and wins the audience over with her rowdy, bawdy personality, doing a sexy dance on stage and even pouring water over her breasts. The crowd reacts positively, but she does not win the contest. Ethan admits that he is incredibly impressed by her confidence, and Renee says she doesn't care if she won the contest because she knows she's beautiful and she had fun. The two go back to Renee's place, and Renee quickly undresses and then shows off her body to Ethan as a “preview,” to which he jokes she might not understand what a “preview” is. They head to bed, and Ethan leaves his shirt on and turns out the light. Renee turns it back on, and as they start to kiss, Ethan turns it off again. She turns it back on and asks if he doesn't want to see her. He says he very much wants to see her, but thought perhaps she wouldn't want to see him. She makes it clear that she does, and they make love. While doing so, Renee mounts him, and sees her reflection in the mirror over the bed and is very turned on by it. So is Ethan. After making love, they cuddle, and he again marvels at her confidence.
An undetermined amount of time passes (probably around a month.)
The next day at work, Avery rushes to Renee and begs for help. She confesses that she simply doesn't know how to market their new budget makeup line, and pleads with Renee to help spearhead the campaign and take on more responsibility. She also laments that no one takes her seriously (despite her advanced degree) because of her beauty and her baby voice, which she has tried to shed but cannot. Renee agrees to do so, and Avery asks her to come to a fancy dinner with the company bigwigs to discuss the situation. Renee says yes, and Avery says she should bring along a date (going through a comedic list of potential date genders in the process.) Renee says she does have someone to bring.
Sometime later Renee and Ethan attend dinner at an upscale restaurant. All three members of the LeClaire family are there. Renee easily impresses Lily with her candor about the budget cosmetics line and insists that Renee come along to the major pitch meeting they are having with Target's people in Boston. It becomes clear that Grant is enamored with Renee.
After dinner, Renee meets up with her friends and takes them to a Chinese restaurant where coworkers from LeClaire said a hidden speakeasy was located in the back. No one in the restaurant will tell them how to get to it, so the three sit down to dinner. Renee is somewhat rude to her friends, asking why they didn't dress up as she asked, and they brush it off. Suddenly a stream of models come in, and Renee rushes over to them to say hi. She comes back to her friends and reveals that only she herself would be allowed to go back, but she would only go if they're okay with it. They reluctantly say yes, and Renee disappears, leaving them alone.
The next night Renee meets up with her friends again. The dating app has scored them a trio of men, and even though Renee now has Ethan, she agrees to play along. However, she is extremely rude and unkind to her friends, interrupting them when they try to connect with the men in conversation and essentially painting them as unattractive, boring people with “potential”. The men are clearly put off by Renee, and her friends pull her aside and ask her why she's behaving this way. Renee really thinks she's being a great wing man and doesn't understand why they're upset, so she leaves.
A few days later Renee boards a private jet to fly out to the Boston meeting. Avery is on the plane, and Renee attempts to go over her presentation, but Avery has taken sleeping pills. Renee moves back to sit with Grant, whose interest in her becomes even more obvious. Later, at the hotel, Grant knocks on Renee's door. He comes in and asks to order room service, claiming that Avery blocked his ability to charge to his own room which is next door. He is attempting to seduce Renee, eventually luring her into the bedroom where he tries to kiss her. Before he can do so, Renee gets a photo text from Ethan, and she snaps out of it. She shoves Grant out of the bedroom and runs into the bathroom claiming to have diarrhea. She turns on the glass shower and goes inside, but she runs into the glass and is knocked unconscious.
When Renee awakens, she has a nasty bleeding wound on her forehead. She gets out of the shower and realizes she has missed her meeting with Avery to go over the presentation. She runs down to the hotel lobby, and she encounters Mason who has been brought along on the trip to handle A/V tech. He recognizes her, and she is horrified because based on her “new self,” he should not. She looks in the mirror and discovers that she sees her old self again. Devastated that she has reverted to her “ugly” form, and knowing Avery and others will not recognize her, she gives her presentation to Mason and tells him to deliver it to Avery to do herself. Renee flees back home.
At home, she gets a video call from Ethan, who is excited to see her again, but she hides off camera so he can't see her. She says she can't meet him because she injured her back on the plane, and he offers to come over to take care of her. She says he can't because her place is being fumigated for ants, and he says, in that case, he should come get her and take her elsewhere. She realizes her lies aren't adding up and agrees to a date on Saturday. She then proceeds to get extremely drunk in her grief over her “lost” beauty. She visits Vivian's house, and discovers Vivian and Jane are on a date with their two guys from the app. Vivian says Renee was cruel to them and doesn't want to see her, so Renee leaves in rejection.
The next day Renee goes back to Soul Cycle and attempts to recreate her accident to be “beautiful” again, but it doesn't work. She encounters the beautiful woman from before who is now crying in the locker room. The woman says she has been broken up with and Renee is incredulous that beautiful people get broken up with at all. Renee calls the woman stupid (in a colloquial fashion,) and the woman is upset because she has been burdened with people assuming she is stupid her whole life. Renee apologizes, and the two make amends.
The next morning Renee wakes up to numerous missed calls from Avery. In a voicemail, Avery says that she delivered the presentation in Boston but it didn't go well and she wishes Renee would come back and help her. That night Renee goes to the restaurant where she is supposed to meet Ethan. She assumes he will not recognize her, still believing that he fell in love with her “beautiful” version. She goes inside to a seat about 50 feet from him and texts, saying she is stuck at work and understands if he wants to bail. Ethan thinks she is playing some kind of sexy game, so he goes and sits next to her, pretending not to know her (while she thinks he, in fact, DOESN'T know her.) He says he is waiting for his girlfriend, but maybe he could buy her a drink while they wait.
Renee has an emotional reaction to him identifying her as “girlfriend,” and asks him about his “girlfriend” (herself.) He says she is the smartest, most creative, most beautiful woman in the world. This breaks Renee's heart because again, she thinks she is talking about the way she BELIEVES he previously saw her. She flees the bar, and then calls him and breaks up with him, leaving him extremely confused.
Renee decides to try and help Avery while simultaneously making amends with her friends. She calls her friends and begs them to attend the big launch party for the new cosmetics line. She then arranges with Mason to take control of the A/V, and when Avery comes out and struggles with her presentation, Mason cuts the sound and lights, and Avery leaves the stage. Renee then appears behind a transparent scrim, and attempts to jump through it three times (each time splatting against it instead.) Vivian and Jane arrive just in time to see this.
Renee comes out on stage and puts up a photo of herself at the receptionist desk at LeClaire. She says that this is how everyone knows her, as a perfect beauty, but would they be surprised to see her looking like “this”, and then put up another photo next to it of her working in the basement of the Chinatown office. But when Renee turns around and sees the photos, she sees that she looks the same. Suddenly she realizes that the magic spell never actually happened, and all along all of these people saw her the way she always was and not as some perfect beauty. She realizes that she accomplished everything simply being herself.
Renee then gives an uplifting speech about how every woman deserves to feel beautiful. She talks about how young girls have perfect confidence that over time gets chipped away by the world, and that LeClaire aims to help women get back to that natural state of total self-esteem. She projects photos of numerous types of women of every size, color, and age, including Jane and Vivian. The presentation goes over splendidly. When she goes off stage, she apologizes to Avery. Avery says the presentation was weird but went over perfectly. She also points out the company has excellent mental health benefits, indicating Renee's job is still there for her if she wants it.
Renee, now realizing Ethan fell in love with her just as she always was, rushes to his home. She buzzes his video intercom and begins explaining to him that she broke with him for her own reasons and not because of him. She also picks her nose, not realizing she is on video. He rushes out to her, and picks her nose for her, getting what she couldn't reach. They laugh and makeup, and embrace.
The last shot is of Renee, at the Soul Cycle class. She is now exercising because she wants to improve herself, not out of any fantasy goal or wish for a miracle. The camera zooms in on her determined, smiling face as she rigorously rides, and fades to black.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
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Renee is an average but attractive (by Western beauty standards) middle-aged woman who works in photography for a cosmetics company. After an accident, she hits her head and starts to believe she has been magically transformed into a beautiful model. The confidence she feels around this helps her get her dream job and a boyfriend, but she begins to judge her long time friends and treat them badly. After a second accident, she thinks the spell has been broken and that she is 'ugly' again, but she later realizes she was hallucinating and that her appearance had never changed and she accomplished everything looking the way she always did.
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