Release year: 2000
Director: Donald Petrie
Screenwriter: Marc Lawrence, Katie Ford, Caryn Lucas
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt, Michael Caine, Candice Bergen, William Shatner, Heather Burns, Ernie Hudson
When the Miss United States pageant is threatened by a terrorist attack FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) must go undercover.
Miss Congeniality has a wacky premise but luckily it’s stars provide enough charm to make it an enjoyable watch. Gracie Hart is a very un-ladylike lady, who takes her job as a FBI agent very seriously which gives her little time to have any social life and thus very few social skills. Her fish-out-of-water transformation is quite funny as these things often are. Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side 2009) is charming, if not amazing, in the role and has good chemistry with her co-agent and possible love-interest, Eric played by Benjamin Bratt (Love in the Time of Cholera 2008). However, it is the excellent Michael Caine (Zulu 1964) who delivers most laughs. Miss Congeniality attempts to walk the line of poking fun at pageants while still showing its contestants as people, while at the same time portraying a supposedly strong female character and then ‘beautifying’ her to make her more like a ‘real lady’, and they succeed in keeping on that fine line most of the time. If you are not a fan of this type of comedies or a feminist not able to overlook it’s blatent objectification of women, then this isn’t the movie for you. If you like the genre you will find Miss Congeniality a charming and fun watch.
Rhode Island’s answer to the question ‘what is your idea of a perfect date?” is an actual answer given at a real-life pageant.
Picture copyright: SF Films