Some films operate as simple entertainment. Others hit a little differently in that they hold a message to learn from. Beautiful is the latter and with a good cast, it’s actually also entertaining to watch.
Beautiful (2000) Film Review
Living in an environment that’s less than protective and anything but nurturing, young Mona is pretty much on her own. With a mother who cares only about her cigarettes and a stepfather who is a little too interested, Mona works hard, earning money to help fund her dream, which is to compete in pageants. For years, Mona is the odd one out, the one who cannot make the cut; her frizzy hair and loud costumes may catch the judges attention, just not in the right way. Then she meets Ruby, a fellow schoolmate and a girl who’s good at sewing.
Years later, Mona (Minnie Driver) is living the pageant circuit dream but the getting there has been rough. She now has smooth hair, a more polished look and still has Ruby (Joey Lauren Adams). Making them now a trio is Vanessa (Hallie Kate Eisenberg), Ruby’s little girl, and a kid who, not unlike Mona, has quite the protective and opinionated personality.‘BEAUTIFUL’ (2000): AN UNDERRATED DRAMA ABOUT HONESTY #DRAMA #MINNIEDRIVER #GOODMOVIE #MOVIES #MOVIEREVIEW Click To Tweet
Over twenty years old now, this is one of those oldie titles I’d seen years ago and never re-watched. When I saw it on Prime, I decided to re-watch it with a memory intact that I didn’t like the film. While dragging flaws with it (which is kind of the point), Beautiful is actually a really charming and heartwarming title. There’s lots of moments that make you pause and reflect and we come to understand the reason for Mona’s personality the longer the film presses forward. She became the way she did in a default kind of way that while not healthy for any kid, is the only way she knew to survive. Plus, she does learn and we’re hopeful that leads to growth.
The film starts in her childhood and moves to adulthood, and to be honest, it spends more time in the former than I remembered. The full cast is really quite good. Minnie Driver plays a more serious role here which I don’t often see her in, but she’s good. You’ll also see (in lesser roles) people like Kathleen Robertson and Brigette Robertson, who was in The Wedding Planner. Plus, Sally Field directs.
If you liked something such as Miss Congeniality, you’ll may enjoy this film. The heroine isn’t as plucky or likeable, but again, there’s lessons. It’s more serious but it has some good takeaways and reminds us that while pursing things isn’t always bad, sometimes we also have to pursue people, and the things that are most important. Because of this, there is a plethora of lovely scenes all of which the actors do justice in bringing heart to.
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You can find Beautiful (2000) digitally on Amazon Video
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Content: There is a scene of a man entering a bedroom with the intention of taking advantage of someone (it doesn’t happen). There’s other sexual references and implications that a girl sleeps around. Some minor and more commonplace profanity works its way into the script but nothing awful. There’s some acting out from kids and a woman dies from an overdose (we see the pills she collects). The film is PG-13.
Photos: Destination Films