More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 22.07%
Worth A Look39.31%
Average: 24.14%
Pretty Bad: 4.83%
Total Crap: 9.66%

8 reviews, 97 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura by Jay Seaver

Buffalo Boys by Jay Seaver

Mandy by Rob Gonsalves

Road Not Taken, The by Jay Seaver

Great Battle, The by Jay Seaver

True Fiction by Jay Seaver

Pick of the Litter by Jay Seaver

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Peter Sobczynski

House With A Clock In Its Walls, The by Peter Sobczynski

Life Itself (2018) by Peter Sobczynski

subscribe to this feed

Miss Congeniality
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Scott Weinberg

"Call it a Guilty Pleasure, but this one's pretty damn funny."
4 stars

To say Sandra Bullock has poor taste in scripts is like saying Bill Clinton has poor taste in women. Not only is it common knowledge, but both topics are too unpleasant to discuss in public. What's particularly strange is that Sandra Bullock often acts as her own producer for most of her recent films, and she seemingly still can't tell the difference between a pathetic script and a Chinese take-out menu.

While Bullock's latest star vehicle, Miss Congeniality isn't about to win any Oscars for screenwriting, it is a noticeable step up from most of her work. OK, that's not too big of a compliment, but this film has more charm and humor than Gun Shy, Forces of Nature and Practical Magic combined. (Heck, Bullock scored earlier this year with the stunningly strong 28 Days, so maybe she got herself an new agent - one that can actually read!)

After I bashed What Women Want and semi-trashed The Family Man, I started getting some disturbing emails from my 'Mommy' readers, who expressed their displeasure at my seeming inability to simply embrace a 'sweet, cute' movie. But while Mel Gibson and Nicolas Cage (two of my favorite actors, incidentally) offered up two of the most artificial movies of the year, Bullock stunned me by coming up with a movie that's twice as enjoyable as either of those sex-symbol stroke-a-thons. If Miss Congeniality had featured any other actress in the lead role, the movie would have flopped like a dying fish.

Bullock assumes the role of Gracie Hart, an FBI agent who's as tough as she is frumpy and antisocial. Yeah, I know...Watching the wafer-thin Bullock kick hell out of a punching bag or beating on the bad guys is a big stretch, but she nails her New Jersey accent perfectly, so it's easy to buy her as an ass-kicker. Fortunately, this is not an action movie, so Bullock can quickly revert back to her flippant and remarkably likeable acting style. While not classically beautiful, Bullock corners the Hollywood market on 'girl-next door cuteness', and she possesses that rarest and most valuable trait of true movie stars: true charm.

The old-fashioned plot revolves around how ugly duckling Gracie must undergo a blatantly Pygmalion-esque transformation and infiltrate the Miss U.S.A Pageant to seek out a mad bomber. Granted, it's as silly as it sounds, but Ms. Bullock and a game supporting cast make the affair a surprisingly entertaining affair. As the has-been pageant emcee, William Shatner (yes, I said William Shatner) gets a few solid gags and Michael Caine as a snooty (but lovable) old fruit steals every scene he's in.

Best labeled as a 'guilty pleasure', Miss Congeniality will obviously play best to audience members who already adore Sandra Bullock, while those who can't stomach her will find plenty to hate here. Sandy's got her 'cutesy' vibe set for KILL in this movie, and her performance would be pretty grating if she weren't so damn funny! It's apparent that everyone involved in the project knew it was a lightweight affair, and concentrated most on what they had to work with. (i.e. Bullock, Shatner & Caine) A welcome air of slapstick is present throughout, as if to remind the audience not to take any of the proceedings too seriously.

If you think I'm insane for recommending this one, I couldn't really argue with you. It definitely seems culled from the typical Hollywood cookie-cutter mold, and movies that are completely unoriginal (as Miss Congeniality certainly is) are generally awful to sit through. Thanks to a sparkling performance by Bullock and a handful of others, I'm stunned to announce that this movie is one of 2000's most enjoyable comedies. Notice I didn't say it was a great movie, but if you owe your wife/girlfriend a 'movie pick', you could do a hell of a lot worse, trust me. She could drag you to see What Women Want, and then nobody wins.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 01/03/01 11:45:10
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

5/23/13 Jamie Loved it! Michael Cain, Bill Shatner, Candice Bergen, hillarious! 5 stars
7/23/11 art WACH the PROPOSALfrom 2009,for a better S.BULLOCK VEHICLE! 1 stars
2/20/11 Ark Not great, but cute and entertaining! 4 stars
10/08/09 Kay D. This is one of my most favorite movies. Not amazing, but not bad. 4 stars
6/30/09 art LAME! 1 stars
12/06/08 Shaun Wallner Wonderful story. 4 stars
3/28/08 EY World peace! 3 stars
1/26/08 Pamela White Best movie for Sandra she makes such a transformation 5 stars
2/14/07 johnnyfog See this is the reason a lot of us hated Bullock for a long time 3 stars
2/02/07 William Goss Lightweight yet amusing enough to tolerate. Caine helps a great deal. 3 stars
6/01/06 drydock54321 nice refreshing and fun 5 stars
5/31/06 Ashley Hinz Michael Caine is unforgettable. 5 stars
4/04/06 kenzie the greatest ever i watched it over 10 times in 2 days 5 stars
2/02/06 Alyssa Waters A great movie and has gave me the power to be what I want to be! 5 stars
11/15/05 kellie i love sandra bullock shes the bast and he movie 5 stars
8/24/05 tony It was so funny. it was very good. 4 stars
4/10/05 judith anderson story moves well. good acting. VERY funny!! 5 stars
2/05/05 goatfarmer yeah, yeah, yeah, yes! 4 stars
1/10/05 Lucas Stenz A lot of product placements; still cute 2 stars
12/05/04 kayla that movie was funny 5 stars
10/09/04 Casey Great movie! Very Funny! A must see 5 stars
8/17/04 Herolder Fun and entertaining 4 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz I liked it???? 4 stars
7/20/04 godan Wow does Sandra look great here! 4 stars
7/18/04 Jen C. funny and cute! 4 stars
7/17/04 Raymond Lee a vert funny movie 4 stars
7/09/04 Jack Sommersby Wonderfully entertaining. Bullock and Caine shine, and the film is ingratiating. 4 stars
4/24/04 J Entertaining and mildly funny! 4 stars
4/23/04 Andy Schwarz great 5 stars
3/31/04 Dani Barolo fantastic, best movie ive seen 5 stars
12/28/03 Chris Funny, Funny, Funny. Proves again why I love Bullock. 5 stars
11/16/03 John Bale Much depends on Sandra which finally wilts this modest comedy 3 stars
10/16/03 LEGALLY BLONDE Sandra Bulimic again does the cinematic form of barfing on us. 1 stars
10/05/03 Heather Purplethorne Yes, I sure do miss the congeniality that isn't in this movie! 1 stars
7/07/03 R.W. Welch Just gets by until the finale which is something of a hoot. 3 stars
5/20/03 Shadaan Felfeli Bergen looks EVIL right through the much for suspence.Unintelligent yet hillarious 4 stars
3/30/03 HE great 5 stars
3/30/03 Nanc S. I enjoyed it so much, I watched the encore presentation! Anything with Bullock is great!! 5 stars
3/25/03 Jack Sommersby Funny and, yes, heartwarming. Bullock is sensational. Only action parts are lame. 4 stars
1/20/03 Film Liker Outstanding! Fun Movie - that's all that counts! At least Sandra had real WORDS to speak 5 stars
12/21/02 palaboy101 Sandra Bullock was a perfect fit! 4 stars
11/18/02 Chris Walker i love it she is so hot!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/22/02 danielle clooney its really funny 5 stars
6/06/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi cool 4 stars
3/19/02 Natalie Stonecipher To make sense of the title, think of "miss" as a verb. 2 stars
3/02/02 Chowie fun 4 stars
1/16/02 jessica i love this moviee 5 stars
1/14/02 Flick Chick hello? 1 stars
11/28/01 Trish Whelan I loved this movie and every other one Sandy did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 5 stars
11/26/01 Smoogles Lighten up people, it's a funny movie!! 4 stars
11/17/01 The Moorhen Not too bad. Nice to see William "Kirk" Shatner again. Bullock should get a boob job. 4 stars
11/13/01 Bada Bing Crosby Forgotten the minute it was over. Bullock is coasting thru her (AHEM) career 3 stars
11/12/01 Gracy Lionheart Predictable + Boring? A horrible combination present in this poorly written film. 1 stars
11/05/01 CrunchyFrog Sandra Bullock? How'd she make it past the talent portion? Not to mention swimsuit... 2 stars
10/23/01 Tam Some truly funny moments, like Bullock's makeover. Loved the ending. 4 stars
10/17/01 Hum pleasant way to waiste some time 3 stars
10/02/01 Kirk Amusing. 4 stars
9/29/01 Steve Sororis the worse Bullock film ever 2 stars
9/28/01 RK Not worth the ticket. 2 stars
6/23/01 Justin Cheung Totally hilarious! Sandra Bullock does one hell of a job with this movie! 5 stars
6/09/01 Turtle I couldn't stop laughing! Sure it's but predictable, but it's hilarious! 4 stars
6/02/01 Fr Ozarks Sandy's Super! 5 stars
5/15/01 Monday Morning Sandra is a little too precious. She should take her shirt off once in a while. 3 stars
5/10/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Cute satiric take on the Miss America pageants, Bullock reminds me of me...*L* 4 stars
5/07/01 The Bomb 69 predictable but funny nonetheless 4 stars
4/19/01 Tam Loads of fun, challenged the stereotype of the shallow beauty queen 4 stars
4/11/01 Spetters The only reason that i did not fall asleep while watching this was Sandra. 2 stars
4/07/01 Kay wonderful! All Bullock Fans should see this! 4 stars
4/01/01 ~*Co_Co*~ Pretty good, predictable, but funny, Benjamin Bratt was so gorgeous! 4 stars
3/19/01 viking Sandra's best film since "While you were sleeping" 4 stars
3/17/01 fahrbot Absolutely hilarious. I was laughing basically the whole time. 5 stars
2/24/01 Marissa Hilarious 4 stars
2/21/01 Rich It's okay; Sandra carries the film. 3 stars
2/19/01 nick sandra bullock is the hottest 5 stars
2/19/01 Miss. Congeniality Sandra Bullock and the whole cast were AWESOME! 5 stars
2/14/01 whoa!!! whoa!!! 4 stars
2/13/01 Hung Sandra Bullock is so awesome...she did a great job in that movie 5 stars
2/11/01 Monique Sandra Bullock is awesome in the movie, she makes audiences love her 5 stars
2/09/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi It was a cute popcorn movie. I totally dug the "before" Sandra's attitude. >=) 4 stars
2/08/01 WORD_OF_WISDOM sandra's sexy 5 stars
2/02/01 Elladan An action comedy with no action that's not funny. 1 stars
1/29/01 Nic I don't care what anyone else says, this movie was freakin' hilarious! 5 stars
1/28/01 Gavin Moore The perfect date movie. Guys will like it too. 4 stars
1/22/01 Uncommon Sense Cute & entertaining. 5 stars
1/09/01 Kimberly C. This movie was so good and so funny. Sandra can make any movie a good one no matter what. 5 stars
1/07/01 Jenny-My-Fur it is a fun movie, total date movie 4 stars
1/04/01 Lane cool 4 stars
1/04/01 Zavon I loved it. Agood laugh all around.. 4 stars
1/04/01 Richard Schulte all the ditsy models are a great effect 4 stars
1/03/01 Paul Jensen A fun movie 4 stars
12/29/00 Seven Hysterical, light comdey. Sandra is amazing 5 stars
12/25/00 poetchuck All the best parts were shown in the previews 2 stars
12/25/00 Kevin The Movie May not be heavy writing but it made me laugh and in thats a good thing. 4 stars
12/24/00 Carter Light, fun and entertaining! Will see again! 4 stars
12/24/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble A few years ago, wasn't this movie called Miss Firecracker? 3 stars
12/23/00 Qui-Gon The radio station give away night was half empty, half of the audience left 45 minutes into 1 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  22-Dec-2000 (PG-13)
  DVD: 15-Mar-2005


  15-Mar-2001 (M)

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast