Few things simultaneously sicken and seduce the feminist spirit in quite as thorough a way as an American beauty pageant. Now an inextricable fixture on our cultural landscape, the pageant defines, glorifies, and objectifies Woman as a prescription for all time. An evening spent watching the Miss America proceedings on TV is like a psychosexual time warp, dragging us back to a kinder, simpler time when the female of the species need not worry itself over difficult issues like voting or wearing shoes. So it was not without a sense of irony that I walked down the cinema for a screening Sally Field's Beautiful.
Irony is the central force of Field's representative pageantry, and in the tradition of Drop Dead Gorgeous, it is no disappointment. But this is also a human story, about women in search of identity and belonging.
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