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With: Sandra Bullock, William Shatner, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, Candice Bergen, Ernie Hudson
Written by: Marc Lawrence, Katie Ford, Caryn Lucas
Directed by: Donald Petrie
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual references and a scene of violence
Running Time: 110
Date: 12/14/2000

Miss Congeniality (2000)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Beauty Calls

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Sandra Bullock (who also produces) takes a lame idea of a script, splashes herconsiderable allure all over it, and comes away with an amiable, light-heartedholiday charmer. She plays a frumpy FBI agent who receives a makeover in order togo undercover at a beauty pageant to catch a killer. It's pretty stupid andfar-fetched, but Bullock's adorable, down-to-earth bounciness brings many scenesto life. Michael Caine turns in a wonderful comic performance as her beautyconsultant. William Shatner and Candice Bergen are also funny in small roles asthe pageant coordinators. Benjamin Bratt plays Bullock's love interest, though hedoesn't quite have the presence needed to remain noticeable while Bullock is onscreen. Bullock won me over completely as she taunts him, singing, "you think I'mgooooor-geous! you want to kiiiissss me!" This is the kind of role she's perfectin, as a comic centerpiece and not having to share the spotlight.

DVD Details: To help promote the 2005 sequel, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, Warner Home Video has released a new "deluxe edition." I've now seen the film more than once and find that it stands up as one of Bullock's best efforts. She's a truly exceptional presence in movies, capable of stealing scenes from just about any other living actor, but for the most part has not had roles worthy of her. This new disc comes with two full-length commentary tracks, a funny one by Bullock and the co-screenwriter Marc Lawrence, and a second one by director Donald Petrie (Grumpy Old Men). We also get the original theatrical trailer, three deleted scenes (5 mins.), two featurettes: Preparing for the Pageant (7 mins.) and The Pageant (8 mins.), the amusing "Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Beauty Queen" quiz, hosted by William Shatner, and finally the obligatory sneak-peak at the sequel (8 mins.) and a $12 coupon toward movie tickets.

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