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Beautiful (2000)
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Review Date: September 25, 2000
Director: Sally Field
Writer: Jon Bernstein
Producers: John Bertolli, B.J. Rack
Actors:
Minnie Driver
Joey Lauren Adams
Hallie Kate Eisenberg
Plot:
An ugly duckling girl turns into a moderately attractive woman and somehow manages to become Miss Illinois and get a shot at the Miss America Miss contest. Despite paying her own daughter no mind and treating everyone else around her like they didn't exist or matter, the woman somehow manages to make it into the finals, where she must inevitably decide what she wants out of her own life. Yugh! (and believe you me, I've actually left out the stupidest parts!)
Critique:
This movie is hilarious...hilariously bad! The lead character in this film, played by Minnie Driver, is one of the most reprehensible human beings that I have ever had the displeasure of watching at the movies. She is shallow, self-centered, rude, vain, egotistical, a bad sport, a bad friend, a bad mother, a bad person, bad with kids, horrible with her own kid...and just a big ol' despicable human being. Not many qualities, I assure you. Why oh why, the folks behind this wretched film thought that anyone in the audience would give a rat's ass about a lady who treats everyone around her like garbage, most especially her own kid (!), with only her idiotic dream of winning the Miss America Miss contest as her goal in life, is beyond me! But sadly, she is not the film's only problem. The biggest issue that this movie has is its terribly formulated screenplay. I am honestly still not sure whether or not this was supposed to be a drama or a comedy, but either way, the film is just howlingly bad. The dramatic moments were humorous (one of Minnie's friends is in jail on a murder rap and all she wants to discuss is her upcoming beauty pageant...and yes, that was supposed to be a dramatic moment!), and the funny moments, just plain stupid (Minnie puts crazy glue on her competitor's baton so that she could sabotage her performance...hahaha, look at her, she can't let go of the baton...hahaha...ugh!).

Add that to the embarrassing plot device used to get the mother and daughter together (I won't ruin it here, but it is one of the most nonsensical plot twists that I have ever witnessed in a movie), the pathetic acting performance given by Joey Lauren Adams (the thought of her prison "confrontation" scene still makes me cringe), the extreme disservice that this film does to all beauty pageants and the pseudo-lesbian undertones, and God-oh-mighty, how the heck did this one get past the guards at the gate?!? The smartest person in this whole film is a 7-year old kid, who manages to say all the right things, while the only man in the script is a child-molesting drunk? Yeesh! C'mon ladies, are we really that bad? Director Sally Field also paces the film all wrong. Too much time is spent on the childhood, the film goes on for too long, and without a proper line between humor and drama, the film just dies all around. And what's with Minnie looking like a transvestite in the final "talent" contest? Yikes! And that dress! Ugh. Bad decisions all around! But when the lead character can be described in three simple words, bee-a-tch, you know the movie isn't gonna touch many hearts. Men, stay away, and I mean FAR AWAY from this one. And women...stay away also. But if you do decide to go, please just do me one favor: DO NOT BRING YOUR KIDS TO THIS FILM! The lead is an egotistical, selfish, lying phony who will give your loved ones nothing but bad advice and offensive moral values. Actually, you might want to take them in order to show them what NOT to become in their lives! I gave this movie one point because of the lovely Bridgette Wilson, who looked real pretty in the film. Other than that, a complete and utter waste of time. I'm gonna go brush my teeth now.

Having done a little bit of research into the screenwriter of this film, Jon Bernstein, I found that he had only written one other movie project before this one. Do you want to guess what it was? It's actually a perfect companion piece to this film...Jerry Springer's RINGMASTER (2/10)! Oh my...Jon...please...for the love of God and all that is good and sacred in this world and in screenwriting...put down the pen and concentrate your life on something else. You're "hurting" the world by writing movies.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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