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"BEAUTIFUL"
(2000) (Minnie Driver, Joey Lauren Adams) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Extreme None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Minor Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Comedy: A young and ambitious, but self-centered woman tries to fulfill her lifelong dream of winning a national beauty pageant, no matter who she steps on while doing so.
PLOT:
Mona Hibbard (MINNIE DRIVER) is a young and ambitious, but self-centered woman who's spent her entire life trying to be someone through winning various beauty pageants. Although her mother, Nedra (LINDA HART) and her man friend, Lurdy (BRENT BRISCOE), didn't support Mona when she was a teen, she did receive help and encouragement from Verna Chickle (KATHLEEN TURNER), a former beauty queen and local talent trainer.

Now the latest Miss Illinois, Mona is poised to enter the Miss American Miss beauty pageant. With the help of her best friend, Ruby (JOEY LAUREN ADAMS), whose young and feisty daughter, Vanessa (HALLIE KATE EISENBERG), is decidedly less enthusiastic about the whole matter, Mona sets out to win the crown. Several obstacles stand in her way, however, including Joyce Parkins (LESLIE STEFANSON), a onetime competitor and current TV reporter who's determined to ruin Mona's life.

Of course, there are the other contestants, including Lorna, Miss Texas (BRIDGETTE WILSON) and Wanda Love, Miss Tennessee (KATHLEEN ROBERTSON), but Mona is more concerned about getting good PR and her mother's support. When she ends up having to take care of Vanessa for an extended time as the pageant begins, however, Mona finds herself facing the biggest choices and challenges of her life.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those who are fans of Driver, Adams and especially Eisenberg (the Pepsi commercial girl), as well as beauty pageants in general, are the likeliest audience members among kids (with boys of all ages probably staying away in droves).
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language and thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MINNIE DRIVER plays a self-absorbed, twenty-something woman who's obsessed with winning a beauty pageant. As such, she's given up her young daughter (born out of wedlock) and acts like she's not even hers (although the girl - unaware of the truth -- is always around and being raised by a friend). She also participates in whatever self-centered activities will strengthen her chances of winning and uses some profanity.
  • JOEY LAUREN ADAMS plays her best friend who's raising her daughter as if she were really hers.
  • HALLIE KATE EISENBERG plays Mona/Ruby's occasionally obnoxious young daughter who wonders why she looks more like Mona than her "real" mom.
  • LESLIE STEFANSON plays a TV reporter who's determined to ruin Mona's life due to a squabble the two had years earlier at another pageant.
  • LINDA HART plays Mona's white trash mother who doesn't love or support her daughter at any stage in her life.
  • BRIDGETTE WILSON and KATHLEEN ROBERTSON play two other contestants, with the former being a snob who briefly uses strong profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama/comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of 1 use of the "f" word, while various other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Although not seen and somewhat downplayed until later in the story, a young woman gets pregnant and has a baby, but gives the child to her best friend to raise as her own (none of which is seen, although it's later learned).

    Some brief, sexually related dialogue is also present, a woman suggestively licks an oversized lollipop while briefly talking taking about abstinence, and various young women show varying amounts of cleavage while others are seen getting dressed (including one in her panties and another holding/covering her bare breasts).

    Many of the characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (especially the protagonist), while a nursing home resident takes her life via an overdose of pills (off screen) and some child molestation is suggested but not seriously addressed (a man comes into the teenage protagonist's bedroom at night and tries pulling down the sheets).

    Meanwhile, some tense family moments are present, while a few characters drink and smoke. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings for specific examples of what occurs in the film.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • In a scene from the past, we see Lurdy with a beer in front of him.
  • Arriving late for Mona's competition in the past, Nedra says that she was feeling a little sick, so she got herself a drink.
  • A senior citizen in a nursing home commits suicide via an overdose of barbiturates she had accumulated (we don't see the actual death).
  • Lurdy drinks a beer while Nedra holds one and then drinks some vodka.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear Mona vomiting from nerves before a contest.
  • We see a woman's hand that has a large burn scar on the palm.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Nedra doesn't support Mona's beauty pageant dreams (in the past or present) and doesn't show up for any of the competitions (and callously accuses her of paying for a "participant" award from one such contest).
  • In a scene from the past, we see Lurdy sneaking into Mona's bedroom at night (when she's in her teens and sleeping) and trying to pull down her covers (she suddenly sits upright and blows a whistle to stop him, but it's heavily suggested that child molestation has occurred in the past).
  • In a scene from the past, some boys are mean to Ruby at school (not letting her sit down to eat lunch).
  • Mona learns that another contestant has purposefully stolen her talent bit for a contest (dancing with a flaming baton) and so she puts fast drying glue on the baton to sabotage that girl's routine (resulting in that other girl not being able to put down the flaming baton). Later, that girl - now an adult TV reporter - is determined to enact revenge by ruining Mona's life.
  • Mona is completely self-absorbed and self-centered, and exploits whatever situation she's in to further her chances of winning (such as posing with nursing home residents and tending to a pregnant woman in a grocery store only so that she can have her picture taken with them).
  • Vanessa occasionally has a bad attitude toward Mona and her goal/dream.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "She's f*cking brilliant," "Bullsh*t," "Don't be a smart ass," "Moron," "Bitch," "You look like crap" and "Nuts" (crazy).
  • Mona learns that another contestant has purposefully stolen her talent bit for a contest (dancing with a flaming baton) and so she puts fast drying glue on the baton to sabotage that girl's routine (resulting in that other girl not being able to put down the flaming baton).
  • Vanessa makes all sorts of exaggerated faces using her fingers.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," has a line about drinking brandy.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 4 "s" words, 1 slang term for male genitals ("d*ck"), 4 damns, 2 asses, 2 craps, 1 hell, 5 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "G-damn" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "My God," "Sweet Jesus" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see archival footage of beauty pageant contestants from the past in various bathing suit styles (but nothing explicit or racy).
  • Although we don't see anything other than Mona leaning into a car to kiss her latest boyfriend, we later (and very briefly) learn that she's pregnant.
  • After Mona wins the Miss Illinois pageant, a miffed competitor asks how many judges Mona "did" (had sex with) to win. Mona then replies, "Everyone but your daddy. His d*ck was too small."
  • Mona and other women show varying amounts of cleavage in the various outfits they wear during the film.
  • A pageant contestant states that her platform is sexual abstinence. She then talks to the camera telling others to postpone sexual activity and just "say no." She then winks and suggestively licks a large lollipop she's holding.
  • We see various pageant contestants getting dressed, including one holding/covering her bare breasts with her hands and another in her panties as she pulls up her pantyhose.
  • SMOKING
  • Lurdy smokes several times, while Nedra smokes once and searches for her cigarettes in another scene. In addition, an older couple in a restaurant mistake Mona for a hostess as well as what she says for asking if they want the smoking or non-smoking section (the older man states that they'll take the smoking section).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mona and her mother don't get along (both in the past and present) with Nedra never supporting Mona's dream or showing up for any of her contests.
  • Mona and Vanessa have a few tense moments, but eventually make up.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Beauty pageants and whether they exploit women or help those in need with prize money, education, etc.
  • In a scene from the past, we see Lurdy sneaking into Mona's bedroom at night (when she's in her teens and sleeping) and trying to pull down her covers (she suddenly sits upright and blows a whistle to stop him, but it's heavily suggested that child molestation has occurred in the past).
  • That Mona would completely give up her daughter just so that she could continue competing in beauty pageants, and would be so self-centered and self-absorbed that she wouldn't care about others.
  • A senior citizen in a nursing home commits suicide via an overdose of barbiturates she had accumulated (we don't see the actual death).
  • VIOLENCE
  • In a scene from the past, Mona purposefully runs into another girl in her modeling class while practicing.
  • A senior citizen in a nursing home commits suicide via an overdose of barbiturates she had accumulated (we don't see the actual death).
  • Taping a promo spot for the pageant, Mona aggressively throws a large, but light beach ball at another contestant, hitting her on the head.



  • Reviewed September 26, 2000 / Posted September 29, 2000

    Other new reviews available this week include:

    [Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)] [John Wick] [Ouija] [23 Blast]

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