Reviewed by: Hillari Hunter
|Featuring:||Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt, Candice Bergen, Marc Lawrence, Michael Caine|
|Producer:||Katie Ford, Bruce Berman, Ginger Sledge, Katie Ford, Sandra Bullock|
Gracie Hart, an FBI agent, is picked to go undercover as a contestant in a beauty pageant when it’s discovered that a mad bomber may cause a disaster there. However, Gracie (Sandra Bullock) is very tomboyish, and sneers at anything feminine. Once inside the glitz and glamor of the pageant, Gracie and her FBI colleagues race to find out who may be out to fatally bring the curtain down on the other contestants.
“Miss Congeniality” is an action-comedy, but there’s little action. The focus is on Gracie’s attempts to appear feminine so as to not give herself away to the other contestants. It is not explained why Gracie is such a tomboy, only that she’s always been one. There are the usual scenes of catty backbiting among the other beauty queens, and wisecrack comments against beauty contests in general. The pageant organizer (Candace Bergin) is a former beauty queen who has serious doubts about Gracie passing herself off as a contestant. Her character makes a couple of insults against feminists and intellectuals who put down beauty pageants. The best moments are the disagreements between Gracie and the snide pageant consultant (Michael Caine) who has been hired to turn her from drab to fabulous. William Shatner has fun playing the egotistical host of the pageant. Benjamin Bratt’s character is set up to be Gracie’s possible love interest, but there is not much chemistry between the two.
There are mild sexual references, including a couple of gay jokes. The violence is mostly bloodless fist fights. Coarse language is sparse. This movie is very light and fluffy, and it goes a long way on Ms. Bullock’s natural charm. It’s not exceptional entertainment, but a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
Read our review of the sequel to this movie, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous.