Different movies have different agendas (and I really have an art of stating the
obvious, don't I). The point being that this one has Timepass (or the American
equivalent of the word) right on top of its priority list. If you are looking
for anything other than that, Miss Congeniality will leave you cold.
Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) is the kind of woman who would rather wrestle King Kong than wear a dress. An FBI agent (what is it with Hollywood and the FBI?), she is convinced that her life is all about "being the job". But life gets complicated when the job itself demands femininity, grace and poise from Gracie, and she's got lives to save in the bargain.
A notorious serial killer, known only as "the citizen", threatens the security of the Miss United States pageant, and the FBI thinks it a good idea to put an undercover agent on the scene. Gracie is chosen to do the job, and Vic Melling (Micheal Caine), a beauty consultant, has 48 hours to make her look the part of a contestant.
Thus begins the transformation of Gracie Hart, FBI agent, to Gracie Lou Freebush, contestant, the Miss United States pageant, and this is done with the help of an army of beauticians commanded by Melling, bikini wax and tons of patience. The result, of course, is a stunning Sandra Bullock in a dress, though without a walk to match.
As the movie leaps and bounds into the finals of the pageant, "the citizen" is caught and everyone packs and gets ready to leave. Everyone except Gracie, that is. Sensing trouble, she decides to stay put until the end, and that proves to be a wise decision indeed. Eric Matthews (Bratt), her partner, almost leaves but returns when he finally smells the rat. The movie ends with Gracie predictably saving the day and a few lives.
Sandra Bullock lives her role, especially since she is exceptionally good at falling flat on her face. But the role itself gives her little more to do than that. The romance (?) between Gracie and agent Matthews is something the movie could have done without, but can any Hollywoodian Timepass flick do without a kiss towards the end?
The success of the movie can probably be attributed to Sandra Bullock and, it must be admitted, a novel kinda theme. But the hollowness of the script and the superficiality of it all are starkly evident and not very pleasing. Gracie's acceptance of the "Miss Congeniality" award and her speech during the ceremony reek of the expected dialogues, and you are left wishing for the graceless, nonchalant Gracie Hart that she was.
Like I said, this is strictly a timepass flick.