There have been a lot of beauty pageant movies in recent years, including Drop Dead Gorgeous and Miss Congeniality.
However, unlike those movies, Sally Field decides to take a slightly more serious approach to the whole thing, presenting a comical drama about a young woman who has waited her whole life to become Miss America.
Minnie Driver is that woman, and she is joined by Joey Lauren Adams as her roommate and ex-Pepsi girl Hallie Kate Eisenberg as her unknowing daughter. Eisenberg, though only a little girl, is smarter than Driver, I think.
Beautiful suffers from ordinary syndrome. It is modestly entertaining and funny, but there just isn't anything that stands out in the film. The movie seems to glamorize the beauty pageant through Driver's eyes yet at the same time criticizes it by depicting Driver as a pretty obnoxious person. I couldn't really decide what message Beautiful is trying to deliver.
The acting is decent enough, as is the script, but there are a few things that could have been done better in the story. I think Adams' character could have been removed from the situation for a couple of weeks through a better means than what happens in the movie, for instance.
Beautiful is entertaining but at the same time isn't overly interesting, and I found myself doing little jobs around the house without actually watching the film. If you like beauty pageants than you might like this less-critical approach, but for the rest of us, it is just another movie among thousands to choose from.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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