Miss Congeniality (film)

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Miss Congeniality
Miss Congeniality Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Donald Petrie
Produced by Sandra Bullock
Written by Marc Lawrence
Katie Ford
Caryn Lucas
Starring Sandra Bullock
Michael Caine
Benjamin Bratt
William Shatner
Ernie Hudson
Candice Bergen
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography László Kovács
Edited by Billy Weber
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures (US)
Roadshow Entertainment (Australia & New Zealand)[1]
Release date
  • December 22, 2000 (2000-12-22)
Running time
110 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million[2]
Box office $212.7 million[2]

Miss Congeniality is a 2000 American comedy film directed by Donald Petrie, written by Marc Lawrence, Katie Ford, and Caryn Lucas, and starring Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, and Candice Bergen.


In 1982, young Gracie Hart steps into playground fight to beat up a bully threatening a boy she likes. She goes to help her friend, but he feels humiliated being rescued "by a girl", and she promptly punches him in the nose and leaves to sulk alone. Years later, Gracie is now a Special Agent for FBI. During a sting operation against Russian mobsters, she disobeys her superior's orders to save the mob boss from choking, causing one of the other agents to be shot. She is demoted to a desk job as punishment.

Some time later, the agency learns of a bomb threat at the upcoming 75th annual Miss United States beauty pageant in San Antonio, Texas by the notorious domestic terrorist known as "The Citizen". Gracie's partner Eric Matthews is put in charge to stop the threat, but he leans more on Gracie's suggestions for how to proceed, and takes credit for them when they produce promising leads, angering. One of Gracie's suggestions is to plant an agent undercover at the event. Eric determines that most of the other male agents on his team would be too immature and chauvinistic, and suggests Gracie take on that role. Without knowing who they can trust at the pageant, the agents soon realize the only way this would work would be to have Gracie participate in the show itself. Beauty pageant coach Victor Melling, whose reputation was ruined after his last contestant criticized his methods, teaches the tomboyish Gracie how to dress, walk, and act like a contestant. Though initially appalled by the "anitfeminist" pageant, she comes to appreciate Victor's methods.

Gracie is entered as "Gracie Lou Freebush", representing her home state of New Jersey. Though she is scorned by most of the other contestants, Gracie becomes friends with Miss Rhode Island, Cheryl Frasier. As the competition begins, Gracie impresses the judges with her glass harp skills and self-defense techniques in the talent competition. Several suspects emerge during the investigation, including the current competition director and former pageant winner Kathy Morningside, her assistant Frank Tobin, the veteran MC Stan Fields, and Cheryl who had a history of being a radical animal rights activist. Gracie accompanies Cheryl and other contestants as they spend a night partying, where Gracie tries to dig into Cheryl's past, but inadvertently learns from the others that Kathy's past as a pageant contestant is suspect, including how she won after the leading contestant suddenly came down with food poisoning. Gracie comes to believe Kathy is "The Citizen". However, when she reports this to Eric the next day, she learns that "The Citizen" had been arrested on an unrelated charge, and because there is no further threat, their supervisor has pulled the mission. Gracie convinces Eric that she still suspects something is wrong, and he returns to help her continue the investigation against orders.

In the final round, Gracie is stunned when she is awarded the 1st Runner Up prize. Cheryl is named Miss United States, but as she goes to accept the tiara, Gracie recognizes that Frank, who is actually Kathy's son, impersonated "The Citizen" in making the original bomb threat. Suspecting foul play, she stops the crowning ceremony in time, as the tiara contained an explosive. As Kathy and Frank are arrested, Gracie determines that the two wanted to kill the pageant winner on stage as revenge for Kathy's termination from the competition. As the event closes down and Gracie and Eric prepare to return to headquarters with a newfound interest in each other, the other contestants name Gracie as "Miss Congeniality".



The story is set in New York City and San Antonio. Scenes showing the exterior of the St. Regis Hotel, and a few street scenes, were shot on location in New York, and the Alamo and River Walk scenes were shot on location in San Antonio. However, most of the movie was actually shot in Austin, Texas: scenes depicting the interior of the St. Regis were shot in Austin's Driskill Hotel; the pageant scenes were shot at the Bass Concert Hall at the University of Texas at Austin; and scenes depicting the pageant contestants in their hotel rooms were shot in the Omni Austin at South Park.

Box office and reception[edit]

The film was the fifth highest-grossing film in North America on its opening weekend, making $13,853,686 USD; it had a 5% increase in earnings the following week—enough to make the film reach #3; and overall it was a box office hit, grossing more than $106 million in the United States, and more than $212.7 million worldwide. It was nominated for several awards, including two Golden Globes: Sandra Bullock earned a nod for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical, and Bosson's "One in a Million" was nominated for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture. The film has a 42% rating at Rotten Tomatoes[3] and a metascore of 43 at Metacritic,[4] mixed to poor reviews. The New York Times described it as "a standard-issue fish-out-of-water comedy" which "seems happily, deliberately second-rate, as if its ideal audience consisted of weary airline passengers".[5]

Home media[edit]

The film's first DVD edition, released in 2001, included two audio commentaries, some deleted scenes, the theatrical trailer, and two documentaries about the making of the film.[citation needed] A deluxe-edition DVD, released in 2005, featured different cover art for the DVD and menu. It contained the same features as the other DVD version plus a quiz hosted by William Shatner and a sneak peek at the upcoming sequel.[citation needed] In 2009, a double DVD edition was released that included the sequel, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous.[citation needed]


A sequel, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, was released on March 24, 2005.[6] The film starred Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Enrique Murciano, William Shatner, Ernie Hudson, Heather Burns, Diedrich Bader, and Treat Williams. The sequel was less successful, critically[7] and commercially, earning only $101,393,569.[6]


Miss Congeniality
Soundtrack album
Released December 22, 2000
Genre Film soundtrack
Label Capitol TVT Soundtrax
  1. "One in a Million" - Bosson (3:30)
  2. "If Everybody Looked the Same" - Groove Armada (3:40)
  3. "She's a Lady (The BT Remix)" - Tom Jones (4:21)
  4. "Anywhere USA" - P.Y.T (4:06)
  5. "Dancing Queen" - A-Teens (3:50)
  6. "Let's Get It On" - Red Venom (3:26)
  7. "Get Ya Party On" - Baha Men (3:20)
  8. "None of Your Business" - Salt 'N' Pepa (3:34)
  9. "Mustang Sally" - Los Lobos (4:59)
  10. "Bullets" - Bob Schneider (4:25)
  11. "Liquored Up and Lacquered Down" - Southern Culture on the Skids (2:26)
  12. "Miss United States (Berman Brothers Mix)" - William Shatner (3:38)
  13. "One in a Million (Bostrom Mix)" - Bosson (3:33)


  1. ^ "Film Distribution - Village Roadshow Limited". Village Roadshow Pictures. 2014-02-11. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  2. ^ a b "Miss Congeniality (2000)". Box Office Mojo. 2001-04-29. Retrieved 2016-09-24. 
  3. ^ "Miss Congeniality (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-09-24. 
  4. ^ "Miss Congeniality Reviews". Metacritic. 2000-12-22. Retrieved 2016-09-24. 
  5. ^ A. O. Scott (2000-12-22). "Movie Review - Miss Congeniality - FILM REVIEW; Operation Ugly Duckling: Fighting Terrorism in Heels". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2016-03-13. 
  6. ^ a b "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005)". Box Office Mojo. 2005-07-07. Retrieved 2016-09-24. 
  7. ^ "Miss Congeniality 2 - Armed and Fabulous (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-09-24. 

External links[edit]