See This: Miss Congeniality

Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality
Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality



Call it nominative determinism but the Kirk Douglas-dimpled Sandra Bullock is often the most bullish person in the movies she’s in. This is presumably why somebody thought she’d be ideal playing a tough cop who makes an ugly-duckling transformation in order to go undercover at a beauty pageant. It’s completely unbelievable, of course – Bullock never for a second looks less than a Hollywood A list star, even when made up to look like a dog. But who wants believable when there’s fun to be had? And so we yield to Bullock’s brilliant comic interplay with Michael Caine, as her camp coach in feminine poise (see what I mean by unbelievable), and if that doesn’t work you can always snigger at the self-deprecatingly amusing turn as an oily MC by William Shatner’s hairpiece. Here’s a film that has all the old-fashioned energy of a 1930s screwball comedy, which generally handed decent roles to strong women, though it does get its thong in a twist trying simultaneously to validate and pillory beauty queens.

© Steve Morrissey 2013


 Miss Congeniality – at Amazon




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Miss Congeniality (2000) Action, Comedy, Crime | 109min | 22 December 2000 (USA) 6.2
Director: Donald PetrieWriter: Marc Lawrence, Katie FordStars: Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin BrattSummary: Undercover F.B.I. Agent Gracie Hart shows no signs of having any femininity in her demeanor or appearance. Generally a bright and capable Agent, she is in trouble at work when she makes an error in judgment in a case which results in a near disaster. As such, one of her by-the-books colleagues, Eric Matthews, who has never shown any inclination of thinking outside the box, is assigned to lead the high profile case of a terrorist coined The Citizen instead of her, while she is facing possible disciplinary action. Gracie pieces together the evidence to determine that The Citizen's next target will be the Miss United States beauty pageant. The pageant represents everything that Gracie abhors. Despite Gracie's mannish demeanor, Eric, with no other undercover female Agent remotely fitting the demographic, assigns her to go undercover as a pageant contestant to see if she can flush out The Citizen, who is perhaps one of the other contestants. Although the pageant administration, led by ... Written by Huggo


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