Miss Congeniality

Rated 1.0 A slovenly, ill-bred FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) goes undercover as a beauty pageant contestant to snare a Unabomber-style terrorist. If you can believe Bullock as a female Oscar Madison; if you can believe such a slob would ever be hired by the FBI; if you can believe a beauty queen would step aside for a sting operation; if you can believe—oh, never mind, nobody’s that gullible. Bullock’s talent for gentle farce is not enough to carry her here; there are only so many times she can get a laugh out of stumbling in her high heels and talking with her mouth full. Among the actors working (like Bullock) far beneath themselves are Michael Caine as a prissy fashion consultant, Benjamin Bratt as an FBI colleague and Candice Bergen as the pageant director. Donald Petrie directs at a leaden slog.