SoulCycle, that altar of sweat and sick beats, going to be in a movie. It will star alongside Amy Schumer and Busy Philipps in a comedic tale of delusional beauty called I Feel Pretty. This is all per The New Yorker, which profiled Philipps this week. Philipps is currently filming I Feel Pretty with Schumer in Boston and New York. Her husband Mark Silverstein is directing the comedy.
Schumer, as the human lead of the movie, stars as a woman who believes a SoulCycle class worked actual literal magic on her body. Not hippy-dippy workout magic, but the real goods; Schumer's character is meant to be delusional. Philipps plays her best friend and Michelle Williams will play Schumer's boss.
SoulCycle is ripe for parody. These days, it's a fitness empire — in New York City alone there are 19 spin studio locations. It's the avocado toast of exercise: Hip, fun, Instagram-able, and maybe a little cult-y. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt made fun of it in its first season. Nick Kroll played a Jim Jones-esque spin instructor name Tristafé who would only allow his "top" students to ride at the front of the class. (The rather gross reveal at the end of the episode was that Tristafé wasn't actually riding a bike when he taught classes. He was pooping.)
"Kimmy... You can't ride in the front row with me. Tristafé will summon you forward when you've earned it," Jaqueline (Jane Krakowski) tells a distraught Kimmy (Ellie Kemper). "I'll never forget where I was when Tristafé asked me to join the front row. I was in spin class."
In the first three seasons of the show, Broad City's Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) worked at a analogous workout studio called SoulStice. Sound familiar? Abbi was a janitor at the studio, and she spent her days cleaning pubic hair from the showers.
SoulCycle, meanwhile, doesn't mind the jokes.
"Parodies help to elevate brand awareness and simply make us laugh," Gabby Etrog Cohen, vp of public relations and brand strategy at SoulCycle, told Adweek in 2015. Adweek reports that SoulCycle even asked Greenfield to teach two classes for charity after seeing the video.
Not to mention, Busy Philipps is an avid SoulCycle devotée. She frequently documents her spin classes on her Instagram stories, and even invited New Yorker writer Marisa Meltzer to a class for this most recent profile.
Parody is a form of devotion I suppose.