Beautiful | Chicago Reader

Beautiful

In this mostly warm and fuzzy comedy, Minnie Driver plays Mona, a self-absorbed white-trash goofball from a broken home who's been bent on winning beauty contests since childhood. With her best friend Ruby (Joey Lauren Adams) serving as seamstress and cheerleader, she's connived to win the title of Miss Illinois and is now trying to win a national pageant. The only things standing in her way are a vengeful old rival and rumors that Ruby's daughter (Hallie Kate Eisenberg) might be hers. Jon Bernstein's script is at its best when jabbing at the pretensions and ambitions of the competitors, but he lets the characters play cute and then gives us a remarkably contrived, message-laden happy ending. Sally Field's direction is pedestrian, though she does manage to get shamelessly winning performances out of Driver and Eisenberg. With cameos by Kathleen Turner and Michael McKean. 112 min.

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