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"MISS CONGENIALITY"
(2000) (Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A homely FBI agent gets a crash course in beauty and manners as she goes undercover as a contestant to catch a criminal who's made a threat toward a national beauty pageant.
PLOT:
FBI special agent Gracie Hart (SANDRA BULLOCK) isn't exactly what anyone would confuse for a beauty queen, but most of that's because she doesn't really care about her looks or manners. That changes, however, when she's assigned to go undercover at the Miss United States Pageant. It seems that a terrorist known only as the "Citizen" has made a threat against the pageant, and Gracie is the only female agent who at least halfway fits the bill as contestant material.

With approval from FBI Supervisor McDonald (ERNIE HUDSON), Gracie, agent Eric Matthews (BENJAMIN BRATT), and their team head for San Antonio where pageant head and former beauty queen Kathy Morningside (CANDICE BERGEN) and show emcee Stan Fields (WILLIAM SHATNER) can't believe what's being asked of them. Not only must they allow Gracie to enter the contest as the representative from New Jersey, but she must also be assured of making it to the final round so as to have access to all pageant areas.

Realizing that Gracie couldn't currently pass as a contestant, Kathy calls in veteran pageant consultant, Victor Melling (MICHAEL CAINE), to work his wonders. Seeing what he has to work with, Victor thinks it's an impossible task to transform Gracie in only a matter of days, but being currently unemployed, he decides to give it a shot.

Arriving in San Antonio, Gracie, who now at least has the proper look, reluctantly joins the other pageant contestants that include Cheryl, Miss Rhode Island (HEATHER BURNS); Karen, Miss New York (MELISSA DE SOUSA); Mary Jo, Miss Texas (DEIRDRE QUINN); and Leslie, Miss California (WENDY RAQUEL ROBINSON), and meets Frank (STEVE MONROE), Kathy's odd son and personal assistant.

Barely knowing what to do and facing self-doubts that she can pull it off, Gracie begins the pageant, with Eric and his team providing backup. With Victor's continued support, Gracie gets to know the other contestants while looking for any signs of the "Citizen" or that terrorist's work.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or of beauty pageants, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sexual references and a scene of violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SANDRA BULLOCK plays an FBI agent who's more concerned with her work than her appearance or manners. Nevertheless, she must go undercover and pose as a beauty pageant contestant to find and stop a terrorist. She uses some profanity and drinks some (while trying to get a potential suspect drunk).
  • BENJAMIN BRATT plays another agent who assists her on the case. He uses some profanity and finds himself starting to fall for her.
  • MICHAEL CAINE plays a persnickety pageant consultant who appears to be gay and helps transform Gracie into a mostly believable contestant.
  • CANDICE BERGEN plays the malicious pageant head and former beauty queen who isn't happy to have Gracie in her pageant.
  • WILLIAM SHATNER plays the show's emcee.
  • STEVE MONROE plays Kathy's odd and seemingly somewhat dimwitted son.
  • ERNIE HUDSON plays Gracie and Eric's FBI boss.
  • HEATHER BURNS plays a sweet contestant who befriends Gracie and gets drunk in one scene.
  • 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 quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated comedy. Violence consists of a shootout where one person is shot and wounded (but no blood), various instances of people fighting and/or punching others, and an attempt to harm others via an explosive. Those scenes, while not played for exact realism, may be tense to some viewers.

    Profanity consists of several uses of the "s" word, while other expletives and plenty of colorful phrases are uttered. Some non-explicit, sexually related comments are also made, while we see various pageant contestants in varying outfits or while dressing and thus occasionally see cleavage. Various men ogle those women, while it's suggested that a supporting character is gay and a contestant briefly makes a political statement about being a lesbian.

    Some drinking is present with one character ending up passed out from drinking too many shots, while a tiny bit of smoking occurs. Meanwhile, various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including some terrorists who wish to harm others with explosives. Should this summary not appease your concerns about the film and its appropriateness for anyone in your home, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some criminals have liquor.
  • Eric orders a beer for himself and a white wine for the woman with him (while Gracie ordered a "pint" in the bar, but it turns out to be of the ice cream variety).
  • Victor has a drink in a restaurant. Later, he orders some wine while Gracie drinks beer straight from the bottle.
  • Victor has a drink on a plane.
  • Gracie brings in pizza and beer for the other contestants.
  • Gracie and various other contestants go to a club and drink shots of liquor from what look like test tubes of some sort (they also have beer in front of them). Cheryl then comments that she's had several and doesn't feel a thing, but moments later she falls backwards to the floor, passed out.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • In a flashback to Gracie's childhood, we see one boy picking on another, smaller boy. Gracie comes to that boy's rescue, but then finds that both boys have bad attitudes toward her because she's a girl. The bully then tries to punch her.
  • A FBI agent says about a large waitress standing in the line of sight of his surveillance camera, "This broad has two asses."
  • Although it's played for laughs, Gracie goes to the local Starbucks and uses her FBI badge to get to the front of the line to place her order for her associates.
  • Eric pats Gracie on her butt when saying some exercises will get her in shape for the beauty pageant.
  • Some contestants have bad attitudes toward others in the pageant.
  • Kathy tells Gracie that if she gets in her way and that of the pageant, she'll kill her.
  • In various scenes the male FBI agents ogle/make comments about the sight of the contestants in their dressing area or while in their bathing suits, etc.
  • When asked if she ever committed a crime, Cheryl states that she stole some red underwear from a department store when she was a kid and her mother wouldn't buy them for her (because her mother said they were "Satan's panties"). She then goes on to say that her professor attacked her in college.
  • We hear that Kathy was the runner up in her own pageant years ago, but that the winner suddenly got food poisoning (suggesting that Kathy was responsible).
  • The terrorists in the story obviously have extreme cases of bad attitudes.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • FBI agents storm a restaurant and hold their guns on three criminals, just as Gracie does (she was already inside). The gun standoff continues until Gracie disobeys orders to help one of the criminals who's choking on something. Once she performs the Heimlich maneuver on him, he grabs a dining knife and holds it to her throat. She then stomps down on his foot, elbows him and flips him over. A gun battle then breaks out (with an FBI agent being hit and wounded), until the FBI agents capture the other men (Eric bashes one over the head with a large, metal trashcan).
  • Gracie sees a man wearing a gun who approaches the stage and she tries to get Eric and others to close in on him before the man gets too close (he turns out not to be a killer, just a Texan wearing a gun).
  • The ending of the film where the FBI agents try to stop the terrorists (while played more for adventure than suspense) might be tense to some viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Rifles/Automatic weapons: Carried and/or used by FBI agents and criminals to threaten or wound others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Explosives: Used by a terrorist to blow up a mannequin (as a test) and to rig a crown (that later blows up).
  • Handgun: Seen worn on the side of a man approaching a stage.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "No sh*t," "Dork brain," "Wimp," "Broad" (woman), "Bastard," "You look like hell," "You suck at it," "I'm going to get chip-faced" (what Gracie says after ordering a pint of ice cream in a bar), "Babe-fest" (what one male agent calls a beauty pageant), "No freaking way," "Screwed/screwing up," "Damn right," "Bloody," "Where the hell is she?" "What the hell are you talking about?" "Fruitcake," "Loser," "Screw ups," "It's none of your damn business," "Shut up," "Suck," "Nuts" (crazy), "Pissed off" and "She's kicking his ass."
  • Some kids might want to imitate Gracie's snorting laugh.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "s" words, 2 slang terms for breasts ("rack" and "hooters"), 8 asses (2 used with "hole"), 6 damns, 5 hells, 1 crap, and 7 uses of "Oh my God," 3 each of "G-damn" and "Jesus," 2 each of "My God" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "Jesus Christ," "Oh Jesus" and "Oh Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Various women, many of them the pageant contestants, show varying degrees of cleavage in the various outfits they wear. We also see various shots of them adjusting their clothed breasts.
  • After Eric tells Gracie that he's going to give a beautiful woman "an inside look" at FBI work, she snidely replies that she's sure the woman will do the same for him (meaning sexual).
  • We see a computer-generated photo of Gracie in a one-piece bathing suit that's both low and high cut (low on the top, thus showing cleavage, and high on the bottom, thus showing lots of thigh, etc.).
  • After Gracie agrees to do the pageant, she asks Eric where she'll put her gun. He replies, "No place I want to know about."
  • When asked what happened to the Miss New Jersey contestant she's replacing, Gracie says they did an investigation and discovered that the woman previously was in a porn film called "Arma-Get It On."
  • Victor seems to be putting the moves on Eric who senses this and then abruptly leaves (a few other running gags about Victor being gay occur later in the film).
  • While eating a sandwich, Eric playfully asks a pretty woman, "Have you ever seen one this big?" and then amends that to mean the sandwich.
  • After her massive makeover, Gracie comes walking out wearing an extremely tight and somewhat short, formfitting dress that clearly accentuates her breasts.
  • When Miss Washington walks by, Frank states, "Nice apples" (in reference to her clothed breasts).
  • An FBI agent says he loves his job and he or another man states that it's not a bad view as they watch surveillance cameras showing a particular angle of the young and pretty pageant contestants.
  • When Gracie states her talent will be something she's been doing since high school, Victor horrifyingly states that she won't be having sex on stage.
  • We see a female mannequin that shows somewhat realistic looking bare breasts.
  • We see the contestants in various stages of dress/undress (one in her bra, etc.).
  • While talking about Eric, Gracie tells the other contestants that he states that his "equipment is this big" (holding her arms out wide to represent a penis), while it's really only this big (holding her fingers only a few inches apart).
  • We see the contestants in various forms of swimsuits and Victor arrives and personally puts falsies down into the front of Gracie's suit.
  • A comment is made about faking orgasms and later one of the contestants says it's no surprise that Cheryl is still a virgin (after her comment about a perfect date).
  • After Cheryl does a somewhat sensuous talent act with flaming batons, Stan thanks her and then mutters that she "certainly lit my fire."
  • A contestant yells out to the lesbians in the audience that if she can make it to the top, so can they. She then tells her girlfriend in the audience that she loves her.
  • Gracie asks Eric if he's asking her out on a date. He replies that it will just be a casual dinner, and that "if we happen to have sex afterwards, so be it." They then kiss.
  • SMOKING
  • A few miscellaneous people smoke, while one Texan reaches for his cigarettes (which Gracie mistakenly believes to be a move for his gun).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether beauty pageants are just T&A shows, opportunities for young women to succeed, or a combination of both.
  • Despite the film's apparent stance to the contrary, that Gracie comes off as happier and more confident when she's had her makeover and is pretty vs. when she was just her normal old self.
  • Cheryl admits that a professor attacked her in college, but that she didn't tell anyone.
  • VIOLENCE
  • In a flashback to Gracie's childhood, we see one boy picking on another, smaller boy. Gracie comes to that boy's rescue, but then finds that both boys have bad attitudes toward her because she's a girl. The bully tries to punch her, but she ducks out of the way and he punches a wooden post instead. She then stomps down on his foot and punches him in the face. After everyone leaves and the rescued boy is mad at her because she's a girl and stood up for him, she then punches him in the face as well.
  • FBI agents storm a restaurant and hold their guns on three criminals, just as Gracie does (she was already inside). The gun standoff continues until Gracie disobeys orders to help one of the criminals who's choking on something. Once she performs the Heimlich maneuver on him, he grabs a dining knife and holds it to her throat. She then stomps down on his foot, elbows him and flips him over. A gun battle then breaks out (with an FBI agent being hit and wounded), until the FBI agents capture the other men (Eric bashes one over the head with a large, metal trashcan). Meanwhile, we see Gracie pushing the first man's face down into a table.
  • Mad for being the cause of a fellow agent being shot and wounded, Gracie goes home and kicks various things in her place.
  • Eric and Gracie get into something of a sparring match in an FBI gym that starts out slowly and then escalates into more wrestling/martial arts style violence. During it, she kicks a dummy bust that then hits Eric on the head. In turn, he then grabs her in a headlock and then throws her to the mat. She then knocks him to the matt and then climbs on top of him. The two then get each other into various leg/foot locks. After they get out of that, she runs and does an elbow-first body slam into him. He then flips her over and she then kicks his leg out from beneath him, sending him hard to the mat.
  • Gracie throws her celery at Eric.
  • A terrorist rigs a mannequin with an explosive and then detonates it, blowing the mannequin apart.
  • Gracie leaps off the stage and onto a man she believes to be a terrorist.
  • Kathy tells Gracie that if she gets in her way and that of the pageant, she'll kill her.
  • Played for laughs, Gracie tires of Victor not letting her eat, so she pulls out her gun and aims it at him so that she can.
  • Kathy slaps Victor on the back of his head.
  • Gracie shows people how to do self-defense and uses Eric as her attacker who she then proceeds to hit and flip over, etc. (including a shot to the groin).
  • Pageant officials drag a contestant off the stage.
  • Eric goes off to pursue the terrorist with his gun, but a security cop stops him and holds his gun on him. Eric then punches that cop to continue his pursuit.
  • Gracie pushes several people to get to the bomb, while Eric hits the terrorist and the two then struggle over the remote control detonator. Gracie then punches another contestant to get to the bomb that she then throws up into the air where it explodes.



  • Reviewed December 13, 2000 / Posted December 22, 2000

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