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It's a good thing Sandra Bullock knows her strengths and weaknesses, because without Bullock as star and producer,Miss Congenialitywould 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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CastBenjamin Bratt, Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Candice Bergen
DirectorDonald Petrie
Genre:  Comedy
Release Date:  December 22, 2000
MPAA Rating:  PG-13
Screen WriterMarc Lawrence, Katie Ford, Caryn Lucas
DVD Release Date:  March 15, 2005
Runtime:  109 minutes
Studio:  Warner Home Video
What's your opinion on Miss Congeniality?
43 Ratings: +2.4
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More Miss Congeniality reviews
Quick Tip by . March 07, 2011
Great comedy movie. Ms FBI meets Diva world! Funny and entertaining!
review by . January 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A terrorist attack on Miss America. What a hilarious concept! Miss Congeniality takes the idea and runs with it. Sandra Bullock is at her best in this movie, providing the anti-Miss America - smart, tough, and graceless. Her acting makes her character seem really genuine, flaws and all. I will never forget the absurdity of her "Swiss fruitcake" dress. The rest of the cast provides great support, from Michael Caine to William Shatner as pageant officials. Overall, this is a classic comedy that will …
review by . January 22, 2009
Miss Congeniality
FBI agent Gracie Hart (played by the fantastic Sandra Bullock) is a real tomboy. In her own words, "I don't own a dress, I don't even own a brush". Yet when a letter comes from a serial criminal calling himself The Citizen, threatening the Miss United States pageant, FBI Agent Eric Matthews (Benjamin Bratt) must find an undercover female field agent under thirty-five who looks good in a bikini and isn't on Maternity Leave. His only choice boils down to Hart, who's violently reluctant to take the …
review by . May 17, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
The title to this film fits Sandra Bullock perfectly in more ways than one. Not only does it refer to the character she plays in the movie, but it fits Bullock in real life, too, because she's one of the few down to Earth celebrity women in the business. Anyway, the movie is a great showcase for Bullock's comedic talents. However, it suffers from a loose and somewhat poorly written script. The film is supposed to be a comic action/suspense film, but severely lacks the action/suspense (think SPEED, …
review by . February 11, 2001
Pros: Very good when you can't find any others to watch. Don't forget this one.     Cons: None     The Bottom Line: My final recommendation? Just go see this one. This one will not let you down.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. While just sitting around and you don't have anything else to do on you Saturday. Try looking at the movie section and seeing the older movies that were out. The ones that …
review by . December 20, 2000
Pros: Some good laughs     Cons: Not the best story.     The tale of opposites attracting one another has long been a staple of Hollywood. One of the more famous examples was found in “Pretty Woman” when a Millionaire (Richard Gere) fell in love with a prostitute,(Julia Roberts) and despite all odds, ending up happily ever after. Over the years there have been several films that paired a seemingly mismatched couple, only to find them madly in love with one …
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