Miss Congeniality is a 2000 comedy/thriller film directed by Donald Petrie, starring Sandra Bullock and Benjamin Bratt. A sequel, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous was released in 2005.
Gracie Hart (Bullock) is an FBI agent who goes undercover in the fictional Miss United States scholarship program/beauty pageant
in San Antonio, Texas
on the lookout for a serial bomber. She is a feminist
who is not traditionally attractive, and is turned into a more attractive woman going by the name of Gracie Lou Freebush
, with the same tomboyish habits (ex. snorting
while laughing). She is seen overreacting to a gun-toting Texan
, wearing a Tyrolean
for her talent competition, much to the dismay of her mentor, Victor Melling (Caine) and the director of the competition and former queen, Kathy Morningside (Bergen), and using her on-stage talent to demonstrate self-defense techniques.
In the pageant itself Hart, competing on behalf of the state of New Jersey, was tabbed to advance to the top 10, but gets through on talent alone for the rest of the pageant; she eventually placed runner up (Cheryl Frasier/Miss Rhode Island won). It is revealed at the end of the movie that Morningside and her son, Frank Morningside (gone under the name Tobin to hide his many crimes) have plotted to sabotage the pageant; they are caught after the title crown (which is rigged with a bomb) detonates at conclusion of the pageant, and Gracie is awarded "Miss Congeniality" (although The Miss Congeniality award is usually given during the pageant itself, a custom in pageants such as Miss USA and Miss Universe) and starts a relationship with her partner Eric Matthews (Bratt).
The movie was a box office
hit, grossing more than $106
million at the U.S. box office and grossed over $212 million worldwide. It was nominated for several awards, including two Golden Globe
for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical for Sandra Bullock
and Best Original Song - Motion Picture for Bosson
's "One in a Million