Thursday, 12 March 2009

Movie Review - Miss Congeniality

This was a film I watched without any great expectations of enjoying it; the trailers looked too tacky and predictable to be true. In many ways, the film is tacky and predictable; however it is enjoyable enough, and with enough funny moments to make you not care about the tackiness.

The story is based around an undercover cop (Sandra Bullock) trying to track down a rogue criminal who keeps sending cryptic messages to the police, who never seem to be able to work out its meaning in time to actually prevent the crime and catch him / her. Bullock’s character is an adult tomboy who finds the prospect of trying to play a beauty queen awful, but does it anyway in order to get back on the force after being suspended. This was due to disobeying a direct order in a raid, resulting in getting a colleague shot and messing the raid up entirely. Of course, being the heroine of this film and especially a woman (who film directors can never seem to blame for anything for the entire length of the film no matter how bad they are and never seem to have to pay for the evil things they do – oooh there’s a non-controversial comment…) does indeed redeem herself in the end and the whole incident is apparently forgotten.

Turning this anti-glamour policewoman into a contender for the beauty pageant is Michael Caine, who completely steals the show with his performance. Also starring Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order), Candice Bergan, and William Shatner - and directed by Donald Petrie, it has an extremely reliable cast. Bullock does well in the lead role - she's frumpy to begin with but looks absolutely gorgeous when turned into a babe - but as I said Caine is the real star as he’s exceptionally funny onscreen in this film. If it weren’t for Bullock and Caine, this film would probably have been a rather bland , mediocre affair –but these two raise the film to above average.

At no point does Miss Congeniality get above its station and try to be original or clever – it just aims to be good fun and manages it well. Pretty much every cliché and stereotype is in here somewhere; however, since it manages to do it without being self-conscious, that’s not a problem. In fact, I think the intention may have been to make a film with every type of stereotype in existence in it! Everything is rather tongue-in-cheek, and it works. At the end of the day all the film is trying to do is make you laugh, and it succeeds very well in this endeavour.

This isn't a film to watch if you want something intellectually challenging. (Though frankly, if you couldn't have worked that out for yourself you'd be intellectually challenged by pretty much anything – even this film, perhaps.) I don't think anyone could have done anything tremendously memorable with this script – it's funny but wouldn't win any awards. However, it is a film you can watch several times and still enjoy it – as long as you’re in the right mood for it. In fact, for replay value it’s much better than most movies.

My main criticism is that while it makes fun of the whole American beauty pageant business and even appearing to be about to make a (shock horror probe) serious point, it ends up rather sickeningly glorifying it right at the end. A more than decent comedy.

Other romantic comedies:

1 comment:

Atul said...

miss congeniality movie is a mixture of action crime comedy and adventure, it tells the story of an FBI agent who goes undercover in United States beauty pageant to prevent a group from bombing the event. I had
watch miss congeniality movie
trailers , seems to be nice