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|April 14, 2001||
Sandra's undercover makeover!
Sandra Bullock has trouble getting a date. Yeah right.
Miss Congeniality expects us to believe that and much more.
One of the boys, Sandra Bullock is FBI agent Grace Hart who must go undercover as Miss New Jersey in the Miss United States beauty pageant. She is a member of a team on the trail of a vicious serial killer who goes by the name of The Citizen.
The team, headed by conveniently hunky coworker Special Agent Eric Matthews (Benjamin Bratt) hires a master beauty pageant consultant, Victor Melling (Michael Caine), to transform a clumsy, tacky and manly Bullock into an oomph-filled sex bomb.
Here lies the film's stronghold -- a tough Bullock trying to look cute, elegant and flighty -- all the while turning her nose up in disdain. Diehard fans will no doubt enjoy the latest dose of the Sandra Bullock brand of perky chirpiness.
But others who possess some amount of cinematic sense will find Miss Congeniality -- an uninspired rehash of Ugly Duckling and Pygmalion -- painfully clichéd and dimwitted.
Director Donald Petrie (responsible for the easygoing Mystic Pizza more than a decade ago and the recently tedious Richie Rich and My Favourite Martian) can't make up his mind whether he wants a drama, comedy or an action flick.
As a compromise, Miss Congeniality tries its hand at all three. And fails.
However, it does show infrequent flashes of wit thanks to the effortlessly charming Michael Caine. Benjamin Bratt alias Mr Julia Roberts gives a wooden performance and has little to do but fill the screen around Bullock. The rest of the cast shares a similar fate.
Unquestionably, the film revolves around Bullock, who is known for better work in Speed (1994) and While You Were Sleeping (1995). Presently, she seems content to simply breeze through all her films in the look-I'm-so-cute-and loveable mode.
She doesn't need a makeover.
Miss Congeniality does.
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