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Parents' Guide to


By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Beautiful is just bad, sadly. Where's the plot?

Movie PG-13 2000 112 minutes
Beautiful Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 17+

man i wanna watch it.

i love this moie so much. its so funny,.
age 12+

Cute flick!

Okay! This film may be cheesy, but it is a guilty pleasure! After seeing it on TV many years ago, I wanted it ever since. Now that I'm older, it's far too silly for my liking so it's something I would recommend for tweens because they seem to really enjoy it and it has some really good messages about being yourself. Mona as a child has always wanted to win beauty pageants...but she's not pretty enough with bad teeth, crazy hair and a funny sense of style. Her mother is fed up with her and doesn't support her dreams at all. Mona saves her money and attends beauty lessons and gets braces. When she meets her new best friend at school named Ruby, they are like glue, inseparable and do everything together. Mona turns into a beautiful adult, gets pregnant and realizes she can't participate in pageants if she has a kid - so Ruby takes over as mom. Mona and her daughter do not have a good relationship. Soon, Ruby has a problem with the law and is taken away while Mona must juggle taking care of her own child and taking on more responsibilities. Just when she is about to win the pageant of her life, Mona realizes how much she loves her daughter and confesses on stage to everyone who she is and why she lied. Great little movie but language is an issue...lots of name calling even by a small child and some cussing. Not much violence at all - an old woman overdoses on pills to commit suicide. Sexual content includes a reference to molestation, Mona is wild and goes with any guy, a pregnancy, some brief talk about men, a joke or two. Some drinking. This story does have good messages though and is inspirational to kids who have dreams. Worth a look!!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Driver does her best, but, sadly, she gets no help from BEAUTIFUL's producers (14 of them!). She gets no help from the screenwriter, whose only previous credit was Jerry Springer's "Ringmaster." Driver does not even get much help from first-time feature director (but two-time Best Actress) Sally Field. The people in this movie can't even be referred to as "characters" because they do not behave like any human being who ever thought, spoke, or breathed. The actors might as well be wearing signs that say, "Plot device!" as they are moved around the set like chess pieces, because that is the only possible explanation for their behavior. And basic elements of plot are slapdash or just missing. In other words, this is a bad movie.

The movie has some funny moments. Kathleen Turner is magnificent as a beauty pageant diva. One pageant contestant announces that she has a double degree in genetic engineering and cosmetology, and another has a ventriloquist act. When a woman goes into labor in a grocery store, Mona seizes the opportunity to get some good publicity and pushes her to the hospital in a shopping cart, singing, "Wind Beneath My Wings." But these bright spots are just not worth the sloppy mess that comes along. Maybe sixty years ago Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins or Mary Astor might have pulled off this kind of a plot (come to think of it, they did, in The Big Lie and Old Acquaintance). Maybe 30 years ago, Carol Burnett could have pulled off a parody version. But with these people and in this decade, it is not just bad -- it is positively annoying.

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