Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Overlooked Movies: Smile

This is one of those movies I'd never have seen if it weren't for cable.  It isn't the kind of thing being shown in Brownwood, Texas, in the 1970s when we were living there, so I watched it on Showtime or HBO and found it very funny.

It's a satire on beauty pageants, as you know if you've heard of it or if you watched the trailer embedded below, and it's very funny.  Bruce Dern is hilarious as  Big Bob, one of the judges, and if you thought that Barbara Feldon could play only Agent 99, you really need to see this.  She's very good as the pageant director.  Annette O'Toole and Melanie Griffith show up as contestants.  

If you think that beauty pageants are too easy a target, you might be right, but the movie's satire never gets vicious or heavy-handed.  You might be surprised at how much fun it all is if you ever run across it.  Well worth a look.

9 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I thought this was quite a good movie when it came out. And maybe worth a second viewing if Netflix has it.

Todd Mason said...

Even seeing it as edited for CBS broadcast as a kid, it was a worthwhile experience...and will probably enormously enjoy it again as a confirmed fan of director Michael Ritchie (THE CANDIDATE) and the better work by writer Jerry Belson (I liked THE TEXAS WHEELERS and FUN WITH DICK AND JANE even better).

Bill Crider said...

THE TEXAS WHEELERS was an entertaining show. I liked FUN WITH DICK AND JANE a lot, too. Both mostly forgotten now.

Anonymous said...

Besides this being a solid flick, part of the kick for me is getting to see Bruce Dern head up a cast. Ritchie's an overlook director, many of his films taking on slices of Americana. Thanks for putting the light on this one, Bill.

Bill Crider said...

Dern is hilarious in this one. Not exactly a typical role for him.

Kelly Robinson said...

Never heard of this one, but the idea of a beauty pageant satire makes me think of THE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST.

Todd Mason said...

And my punctuation above leaves me vaguer than I meant...as I remember it (and sliced and diced all those decades ago), I like SMILE about as much as FUN WITH DICK AND JANE (the original), and a little better than THE TEXAS WHEELERS, which I liked (you can see how disappointed with Ritter I would be with THREE'S COMPANY).

Kelley, maybe not too far from the Henley play and the film of that play, but even more like a lighter-touch Altman film (since Ritchie and Altman were developing along Very similar lines, and probably paid close attention to each other's work in the '60s and '70s).

Todd Mason said...

As to why I misspell your name, Kelly, I blame George and his E-loving clan. (I even had an Uncle Kelly.)

Bill Crider said...

I like MISS FIRECRACKER, too, Kelly. And also LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and also DROP DEAD GORGEOUS.