Attention makeup-wearing women of the world: you are weak, bitchy sissies. So says Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, a worthless sequel to 2000’s Sandra Bullock comedy in which a tomboy cop learned to embrace girlie-girl femininity while working undercover as a beauty pageant contestant. John Pasquin’s follow-up inverts that formula, this time casting Bullock’s manly F.B.I. agent Gracie Hart—no longer able to work as a field agent because of her newfound fame resulting from the Miss United States case—as a primping-and-posing PR specialist who’s lost her toughness and, as a result, her identity. When Miss United States (Heather Burns) and pageant host Stan Fields (William Shatner) are kidnapped in Vegas, prima donna Hart is teamed with a hardass bodyguard/partner (Regina King) to handle the case, though the decision to name this stereotypical angry black woman after gritty American genre filmmaker Sam Fuller—and then its egregious failure to have her chomping on the director’s trademark stogies—is emblematic of the film’s nonsensicality. Gracie gets another flamboyant gay stylist (Diedrich Bader’s effeminate Joel) and a new barking-mad prick boss (Treat Williams) to go along with the old one (Ernie Hudson), and there are plenty of opportunities for unfunny dress-up fun, such as Gracie disguising herself as an old Jewish lady at a nursing home and she and Sam doing a Tina Turner routine at a drag show on the Strip. Gracie’s transformation into a wimpy, robotically cheery celebrity idiot on the morning talk-show circuit is triggered by low self-esteem (she thinks her old self is worthless because Benjamin Bratt’s Eric, who isn’t actually in the film, broke up with her), yet it’s only a matter of a few costume changes before she realizes that being a beautiful, well-mannered woman isn’t half as much fun as being an uncouth butch who punches men in the groin and snorts when laughing. However, someone apparently neglected to inform Gracie that having basic hygiene skills doesn’t preclude a woman from being tough enough to kick elderly Regis Philbin’s ass.
- John Pasquin
- Marc Lawrence
- Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Enrique Murciano, William Shatner, Heather Burns, Diedrich Bader, Treat Williams, Abraham Benrubi, Nick Offerman
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