Miss Congeniality

Bomb Rating: 

When William Shatner is your film's most reserved actor, the whole project is in a lot of trouble.

Apparently, Sandra Bullock is her own worst enemy, and given her turn as a film producer, she might be wise to brush up on stocking groceries, scrubbing toilets or whatever skill she was using prior to becoming an "acting superstar." Actually, what should happen when actors start suffering from megalomania and begin morphing into actor/singer/writer/director/producers is that they should have to risk their own money. If that were the case, Bullock would be panhandling in no time.

This film has nothing. The performances are universally terrible, cringingly over-the-top, and so uncontrolled as to be grotesque. The idea for the story, if you want to call it that, is that Sandra Bullock is a tomboyish FBI agent who must go undercover at a beauty pageant. First of all, did somebody associated with this film think that audiences would believe Bullock as a tomboy; that audiences would accept her as an ugly duckling? Her lone contribution to this persona is a pig-like laugh. Man, now that's acting and creativity all rolled into one.

The story is equally complex. Naturally, Agent Gracie Hart (Bullock) has nothing but contempt for the people associated with the beauty pageant. Do you think she'll learn to appreciate them? A fellow agent, Eric Matthews (Benjamin Bratt) sees nothing attractive about Gracie. Do you think he'll come around after she's washed her hair, put on an evening gown and spray-glued her boobs together?

What exactly does anybody see in Benjamin Bratt? Oh sure, he looks like a model, but Gary Coleman with the flu could put a whuppin' on him. The man is a stick. Are any of these popular male actors normal-sized human beings? In addition to the acting fiasco of Bullock and Bratt, this film features Candice Bergen, Michael Caine and William Shatner -- all hamming it up. Perhaps Bullock hired Shatner to make her acting look controlled by comparison. Amazingly, Shatner appears to have more self-control than anyone, and when William Shatner is your film's most reserved actor, the whole project is in a lot of trouble.

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