Miss Congeniality

"Weak"

Miss Congeniality Review


If the whole crew that made "Miss Congeniality" -- writer, director, stars, everybody -- were to get together for another movie, one with a less idiotic plot than a tomboy FBI agent going undercover at a beauty pageant, I'd be gung ho to see it.

The level of talent and the amount of good humor that goes to waste in this gimmicky, so-stupid-it-stops-being-funny star vehicle is phenomenal.

Sandra Bullock is said star, and her screwball (bordering on Lucille Ball) performance as a clodhopping, quarrelsome, graceless lout of a foible-prone FBI agent would be comic gold if the boat anchor of a story weren't dragging it down.

Bullock is amusingly credible as a kickboxing spitfire who prefers sweats to skirts, swills beer, talks with her mouth full and snorts when she laughs.

But, of course, she cleans up nice in an industrial strength makeover scene from which she emerges looking dead sexy, wrapped in a tiny purple dress that couldn't be tighter if it were painted on. She then takes a hair-tossing slow-motion runway strut and proves her comedy pluck at the end of it with a pratfall from her three-inch heels that would do Jerry Lewis proud. In short, she's funny. She's adorable. She's great.

But, oy! What she has to work with! Let me get this straight: A terrorist bomber has threatened the Miss United States pageant, so the FBI blackmails Miss New Jersey into dropping out so Sandy can take her place. (As if there wouldn't be a bitter runner up in the wings.) This is a more viable solution than beefing up pageant security and doing background checks? They couldn't put somebody undercover somewhere else in the organization? The pageant people agree to this? The other contestants aren't suspicious?

I'm willing to suspend disbelief for a less logistical comedy, but come on.

Even more faulty is the character of the mad bomber, who is such a cliché that he (or she?) types threatening "riddle me this..." letters while wearing ominous black leather gloves. Oh, brother. This baddie is never shown from the waist up, so it's idiotically obvious someone in the cast has a hidden agenda and some pent-up anger about society's obsession with beauty.

In a talented cast of very funny performances, who could it be? Candice Bergen, as the cynically high-hatted former beauty queen who now runs the pageant from her Helen Gurley Brown-like perch? William Shatner, as the aging pageant host being forcibly retired? Michael Caine, as the vaguely fay, out-of-favor contestant coach burdened with turning Bullock into a babe in four days? (The antagonism between these two is priceless.)

Maybe it's Benjamin Bratt, Bullock's seductive Bureau partner who finds himself suddenly turned on. (OK, probably not him.) Or could it be Heather Burns, as Miss Rhode Island, a bright-eyed and bouncy "Brady Bunch"-like sweet thing who's all gung-ho to be girlfriends with the surly new contestant? She does turn out to be a nuclear physics major, after all.

Director Donald Petrie goes a long way toward making up for "My Favorite Martian" here, but he still seems sadly dependent on pathetic plot devices to push his comedy forward. And the pandering political correctness that rears its ugly head (the movie is careful not to step on the toes of feminists or fashion slaves) contributes considerably to ruining the mood.

What say we let these folks take another stab at it with a better script, OK?



Facts and Figures

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd December 2000

Box Office USA: $105.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $212M

Budget: $45M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures, Castle Rock Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 42%
Fresh: 48 Rotten: 67

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Gracie Hart, as Eric Matthews, as Victor Melling, as Kathy Morningside, as Stan Fields, as Harry McDonald, as Agent Clonsky, as Cheryl Frasier, Miss Rhode Island, as Karen Krantz, Miss New York, as Frank Tobin, Deirdre Quinn as Mary Jo Wright, Miss Texas, as Leslie Davis, Miss California, Asia De Marcos as Alana Krewson, Miss Hawaii, Ken Thomas as Agent Harris, Gabriel Folse as Agent Jerry Grant

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.