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Miss Congeniality (2000)
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Review Date: December 14, 2000
Director: Donald Petrie
Writer: Marc Lawrence
Producers: Sandra Bullock
Actors:
Sandra Bullock as Gracie Hart
Benjamin Bratt as Eric Matthews
Michael Caine as Victor Melling
Plot:
A smart but clumsy female FBI agent, who happens to be a huge tomboy, has to go undercover in a beauty pageant in order to investigate a serial psycho case. Opposed to the idea at first, the "ugly duckling" eventually begins to appreciate some of the finer points of being a lady during her transformation, while continuing to work on the case.
Critique:
This movie is all about Sandra Bullock. If you like her, like her personality, her vibrancy, her humor, her goofiness, then you will more than likely enjoy this fluff-piece. She's extremely adorable in this movie as she trips over stuff here and there, kicks guys butts there and here, and actually has us forgetting about the incredible dumbo plot-line of the movie. It's actually the perfect "Sandra Bullock" role. She fits the character like a glove. And don't you think that I will try to defend this film's "Scooby Doo" mystery here, folks, because I will leave that chore to anyone else who cares. I was cracking up pretty consistently throughout this entire movie, so ho-hum plot-line aside, this movie worked for me. In fact, Bullock pretty much had me at "hello". But before I continue to gush all over her some more, allow me to try and make some more sense out of this movie. Granted, the basic story's been seen a million times. First of all, there's a crazy psycho out there who sends cops enigmatic clues about his next big crime. Woo-hoo, unoriginality police...lock these guys up! Then of course, you've got the whole "ugly duckling" transformation scenario, with every possible "fish out of water" joke that you could imagine, topped off with the typical beauty pageant jokes. But what can I tell you, little ol' Sandy had me the whole time. But to be fair, I also enjoyed Benjamin Bratt's performance, who is great as usual, but is now in definite need of a "real" role to show the world his range. I mean, all of these "great looking guy with a heart" roles are fine to pay the bills, dude, but you gotta break out of that mold. Show us what you're really made of, you sexy bastard!

I'd also like to tip my cap to Michael Caine who glides into this goofy comedy and actually comes out smelling pretty gosh darn sweet. Here's an "Oscar" winner delivering some really hokey lines and pulling it off...completely! I really liked his character, he was sincere, assertive and even more importantly, funny! This movie is actually a perfect "video movie". One of those films that you check out for the evening, turn off your brain, sit back and laugh out loud. And please don't try to dissect this goofy movie's mystery because it's so obviously NOT about that! The "villain" in this movie is so ridiculous, that you just want to slap the screenwriters silly for having watched too many Saturday morning cartoons. This film is about Sandra Bullock and her cuteness...end of story. This movie is also funny and a crowd-pleaser. It's got a lot of easy laughs and plenty of well-intentioned hilarity all around. I usually lace into films as such, especially when it's so obvious that not much ambitiousness was put into the project, but you know what, this movie is a comedy and the bottom line is...was it funny? Did it make me laugh? And the unequivocal response to both of those questions is a resounding "yes", so if you take this movie on its light, fluffy, cutesy, poopsy level, you will more than likely enjoy it as much as I did. But please Hollywood (whoever you are), no more beauty pageant comedies!!! For the love of God...
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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