Unpolished and disheveled, FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) needs a serious makeover before going undercover as a Miss United States beauty pageant contestant to catch a psychopathic terrorist who’s threatened to blow up the proceedings. A beauty consultant (Michael Caine) is hired to transform Hart from “Dirty Harriet” into a beauty queen — with hilarious and surprisingly effective results, much to her partner’s (Benjamin Bratt) shock.

Netflix, IMDB

Director: Donald Petrie
:stc-genre: Fool Triumphant (Undercover fool)

  • “Fool” – Sandra Bullock as an undercover FBI agent
  • “Establishment” – the pageant contest and this whole “woman thing”
  • “Transmutation” – well, kinda obvious

I’ve debated whether this movie’s genre is “Institutionalized” – it also seems to have all the needed elements (“group” being FBI, “choice” – follow “the book” or “throw it out the window”, “sacrifice” – Sandra risks her badge to do what she believes is right). However, the emphasis is more on her transformation from an ugly duckling, and the FBI line feels more like a B story.

This is another movie that look rather (arche)typical for Sandra Bullock – a macho “she’s a man” agent discovers and connects to her femininity (the other movie being The Proposal).

I have to say, I like the Proposal much better. This movie (Miss Congeniality) has a very cool idea, but somehow the acting and situations at times feel contrived and unnatural. I mean, a bad-ass fighter girl just can’t be so inelegant in her walk. If she knows how to fall while being hip-thrown to the ground, she would know how to balance or at least not go down head-first on high heals.