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Miss Congeniality VHS
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Sandra Bullock stars as a bumbling female FBI agent assigned to go undercover as a participant in the Miss United States beauty pageant when it is discovered that one of the contestants is being targeted for murder. Benjamin Bratt leads the undercover team, while also playing the reluctant love interest. Candice Bergen and William Shatner manage the pageant and hire Michael Caine to turn Bullock from rough and tumble agent to stunning beauty queen. The physical transformation is impressive, although the klutzy personality remains. Everything seems to be fine once the killer is suddenly caught, but Bullock suspects there is more to this story, and the truth eventually unfolds with an unexpected twist. For her part, Bullock received a Golden Globe nomination for best actress, and heads the star-studded cast in the year's most hilarious comedy.
It's a good thing Sandra Bullock knows her strengths and weaknesses, because without Bullock as star and producer, Miss Congeniality would be an insufferable mess as opposed to being a mildly enjoyable trifle that is custom-made for Bullock's established screen persona. Only Bullock's fans could really appreciate this fluff (even then they'll wish its ripe premise had been more intelligently handled), but it's not without some highlights to accompany Bullock's reliable charms. Here she plays clumsy, nerdy FBI agent Gracie Hart, who is given the horrific pseudonym Gracie Lou Freebush (one example of the movie's juvenile tendencies) when assigned to infiltrate a beauty pageant to investigate threats of a terrorist attack.
Transforming Bullock from frumpy to stunning is a piece of cake (although she gives pageant coach Michael Caine a run for his money), so the movie's premise is trivial at best. More enjoyable is her character's uncouth disdain for pageant contestants and her mistaken perception that they're all a bunch of bimbos. The movie nicely charts Gracie's realization that her own pageant makeover provides a much-needed ego boost. In addition to Caine's effortless scene-stealing, pageant host William Shatner and organizer Candice Bergen are smart choices for comedic support (Shatner's a perfect Bert Parks wannabe), but the movie desperately needs a credible foundation for its comedy to really pay off. Bullock's bureau boss (Benjamin Bratt) is an unconvincing dimwit, and none of the plotting is as smart as say Beverly Hills Cop in combining procedure with laughs. That leaves Bullock to carry the burden of a comedy that just barely works in her favor. --Jeff Shannon
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was awesome in this movie. You will love it there is some bad language in the movie, in the beginning I just mute and watch it
then in the pagent when they all have on the Statue of Liberty outfits and are going up stairs mute it right there, then when you see the girls onstage turn on the volume again. We have the sing self defense memorized. Every woman and teenage girl should watch and learn the sing self defense moves for their own safety. If you don't mind the bad language, then just watch it, it's a great movie.
Sandra Bullock is brilliant. She owns this role.
Michael Caine is great.
Regrettably, I don't know who Miss Rhode Island was. She owned that role, too.
Sidebar Note: my wife and I worked for two miserable days as "background actors" (extras) on this movie, which was largely shot in Austin in the spring of 2000. You will not see us, alas! The dance club scenes have been cut to almost non-existence. (How unlike my stint as a military reenactor in "Two for Texas," in which my coonskin cap stole the show!) Another brush with Oscar denied. How cruel this business is! Sob!
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