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M. Emmet Walsh
Aging beauty queen seeks redemption in new pageant.
Jean Smart (Designing Women, The Brady Bunch Movie) stars with Robert Wagner (Austin Powers 1 & 2 , What Price Glory, Crazy in Alabama) in this professionally made satire of beauty pageants.
Smart is former and aging Miss Texas Gal 1968 who was also a formerly successful pageant manager until a notorious scandal caused her to flee Texas for Mississippi. Her beauty queen daughter is graduating from beautician college and dreams of going to Hollywood to be a makeup artist to the stars. Smart receives an offer to coach a beauty pageant in Paris, Texas and her boyfriend Lyle (Wagner) persuades her to go. They head out in a motor home only to have Lyle choke to death on an artificial eyelash. Undaunted and unwilling to chance a delay, they keep Lyle with them in the motor home and disguise him with makeup, wigs and a dress.
The film makers present a twisted world of beauty pageants with the book Valley of the Dolls as their bible, an addiction to the cola drink Tab and the surprise ending of the beauty pageant in Texas being for drag queens.
Hilarious satire coupled with an outstanding performance by Smart produce a likeable film that also explores the shallowness of the pageant scene and its impact on its participants. After the film, the director explained that the script was based on his idea of what would have happened if Jon Bennet Ramsey had lived. This produced quite a few groans from the audience. This was by far the best film I screened and has the greatest potential for general theatrical release.
Grade = A-
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