Miss Congeniality (2000)

MISS CONGENIALITY, which is, what, Sandra Bullock's *third* consec-
utive flop?, kinda, sorta, almost remakes "Pygmalion."  B., who is 
also credited as a producer, plays a boorish, bumble-y, FBI tomboy 
who goes undercover as a "Miss USA" contestant and thus requiring a 
crash-course in all things ladylike.  (Plus one whole-body makeover,  
dully depicted as a high-tech, James Bond-style, secret laboratory 
sequence.)  Her highbrow tutor is played by Michael Caine, all snide 
sarcasm and formal fussbudget-ry.  He's fun, but doesn't appear for 
a full thirty minutes, so we have to make due with lots of straight-
played "policing"-- like a stakeout-gone-wrong at the film's start--
as well as several shots of a mad bomber who figgers into the plot.
Groan.  I lasted forty-five minutes before leaving, long enough to 
witness (a.) Bullock slinging her handsome co-star (and presumed la-
ter love-interest) around a gymnasium floor, (b.) the appearance of 
Candice Bergen (!) and William Shatner (!!) as the pageant's produc-
er and emcee, respectively, and (c.) countless on-screen occurrences 
of male leering and which typically resulted in audience laughter!
Obviously, these law-enforcement "professionals" inhabit an alter-
nate universe where sexual harassment laws neither exist nor are en-
forced.  Cue Tom Jones singing "She's a Lady."  With Benjamin Bratt,
Heather Burns, and Ernie Hudson.  Donald Petrie (GRUMPY OLD MEN) di-
rects.  (Rated "PG-13"/110 min.)

Grade: W/O

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