Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies' man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson covers the "How To" beat for "Composure" magazine and is assigned to write an article on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days." They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made.
When her brother decides to ditch for a couple weeks in London, Viola heads over to his elite boarding school, disguises herself as him, and proceeds to fall for one of her soccer teammates. Little does she realize she's not the only one with romantic troubles, as she, as he, gets in the middle of a series of intermingled love affairs.
Undercover FBI agent Gracie Hart shows no signs of having any femininity in her demeanor or appearance. Generally a bright and capable agent, she is in trouble at work when she makes an error in judgment in a case which results in a near disaster. As such, one of her by-the-books colleagues, Eric Matthews, who has never shown any inclination of thinking outside the box, is assigned to lead the high profile case of a terrorist coined The Citizen instead of her, while she is facing possible disciplinary action. Gracie pieces together the evidence to determine that The Citizen's next target will be the Miss United States beauty pageant. The pageant represents everything that Gracie abhors. Despite Gracie's mannish demeanor, Eric, with no other undercover female agent remotely fitting the demographic, assigns her to go undercover as a pageant contestant to see if she can flush out The Citizen, who is perhaps one of the other contestants. Although the pageant administration, led by former ... Written by
There was originally supposed to be a storyline which included Gracie's mother. In the first scene after young Gracie gets in trouble for beating up the two boys, her mother was called in to the school to reprimand her daughter. The story behind her mother was that she was a top FBI agent who was killed in the line of duty and Gracie became an agent to make her mother proud. This was cut because director Donald Petrie thought the whole story was too much and that Sandra Bullock was already bringing enough sympathy to the character without having to bring in another storyline. See more »
Gracie's, Victor's, and the FBI's room numbers at the hotel are the same (103). See more »
Just imagine that she's me and there's something you wanna know but I don't wanna talk about it. What would you do?
You want me to beat it out of her?
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There are some actresses who produce weighty or worthy pieces of work and there are those who produce popular movies. Sandra Bullock is an actress who falls into the latter category. Yet, in this category, she is at the top of the tree and it is in films such as Miss Congeniality that she proves this.
For a fish out of water comedy, this is a film that plays to Bullock's qualities - her tomboy image from Speed, her warm humour and her ability to play for laughs and be deadpan. As such, Bullock is allowed to shine from a castlist containing Michael Caine and Ben Bratt. However, if I had one criticism, it would be that there are occasions when Caine just appears to be shamelessly mugging and camping it up for the camera to no real effect.
There are some genuinely funny moments, mostly centred around the pageant and it is nice to see such a movie which doesn't take itself or its setting too seriously. Many of the contestants give good supporting performances and as such, it is hard to pick one out.
Overall, it is a bit slight but anyone renting/buying this movie would surely know what to expect - familiar, funny and essentially sweet-natured - just like Sandra Bullock herself.
8/10 - A good example of the genre.
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