Thursday Movie Picks: Ugly Duckling to Beautiful Swan Makeover

This week I felt frustrated by the theme because I honestly couldn’t think of any choices for about an hour. So instead of suffering any further, and even though I came up with two movies on my own by the second half of the hour, I still had to look up a list online of makeover movies. But eventually, everything worked out and here are my picks for this week!

1. PRETTY WOMAN (1990)

So this is not the most obvious choice because there’s no doubt Vivian is beautiful from the beginning, it’s the way the rest of the world that perceives her as “ugly”. Pretty Woman is the unconventional Cinderella movie and I absolutely love it! I love the idea behind it, I like the performances by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, and I love that it marks the beginning of the 90’s, my favourite rom-com era!

2. MISS CONGENIALITY (2000)

Again, I know I should be picking “ugly ducklings” but I just keep gravitating towards these movies that take pretty women and simply change their appearance a little. They are beautiful from start to finish, but a little bit of hair care and waxing can go a long way, just saying. I think out of all of the picks I have in this list, Miss Congeniality is my favourite (such a hard pick though) because it’s the one I can easily quote. Plus, it has Sandra Bullock, who I really like, and she is my favourite rom-com leading lady by far!

3. THE PRINCESS DIARIES (2001)

The pick I had to search for because I had completely blanked about The Princess Diaries and for good reason, I haven’t seen it in ages! This was the kind of movie I watched at least once a year when I was a teenager but now, not so much. So forgive me for forgetting the absolutely stunning transformation of Anne Hathaway from a curly haired nerd to an actual princess. But this movie also makes me a bit sad, because it feels like they don’t make teen-movies such as this anymore.


 THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES

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14 Comments

  • I liked but didn’t love The Princess Diaries probably because I find Anne Hathaway rather irksome but it was a sweet little tale and hey its got Julie Andrews which is always enough for me.

    While it’s no My Best Friend’s Wedding Pretty Woman is a nice little fairy tale with Roberts and Richard Gere sharing an amazing chemistry and Laura San Giacomo practically walking away with the picture.

    We match!! Love Miss Congeniality! I just watch it again a few weeks ago and it was as charming as the first time. The role is tailor made for Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine really makes something of a role that could have been a throwaway as does Candice Bergen.

    Funny I had just the reverse problem from you I had far too many choices to winnow down but I love the three I ended up with especially my first.

    Now, Voyager (1942)-Old maid Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) is a member of an extremely wealthy Boston family whose spirit has been crushed by her gorgon of a mother (a truly hateful Gladys Cooper) until during a visit to their home by kindly psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains) Charlotte suffers a nervous breakdown and he whisks her away to his retreat for rich nutcases “Cascade”. While there she begins to rebuild her long suppressed confidence and emerges a beautiful swan on a cruise to South America. On the trip she meets the dashing but lonely Jerry Durrance (Paul Henreid) who is trapped in a bad marriage and falls for him. But there’s plenty of bumpy road ahead for this pair and those in their sphere all executed in top flight fashion in amazing clothes set to a swooningly romantic soundtrack. A gigantic hit in its day this was the most profitable picture of Davis’s career. The ne plus ultra of Ugly Duckling movies!

    Miss Congeniality (2000)-To put it mildly FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) is rough around the edges, she eats with her hands, chews with her mouth open and her idea of fashion is what’s clean that day, but having just blown a big case she finds she can’t refuse when she is recruited to go undercover as a contestant in the Miss United States beauty pageant when a threat is received. Despite many people’s doubt including pageant show runner Kathy Morningside (Candice Bergen) and the coach hired to smooth her feathers Victor Melling (Michael Caine) as well as her own obstinacy Gracie is pulled, pummeled and plucked into a beauty. While working the case she even learns to lighten up and appreciate a different outlook. Breezy comedy is a perfect fit for Sandra Bullock.

    Pygmalion (1938)-First filming of the George Bernard Shaw play where a snobbish linguist bets a crony that he can transform a common flower peddler into a great lady by teaching her proper speech. Not as grandiloquent as My Fair Lady but both Leslie Howard as Professor Henry Higgins and Wendy Hiller as Eliza Doolittle create memorable characters. Wendy is actually more successful with her Eliza than Audrey Hepburn would later be since despite her innate dignity she makes a believable guttersnipe in the initial segment of the movie.

  • I like The Princess Diaries and it made me fall for Anne Hathaway who is part of my elite class of actresses that I call the Bullet Club. I also enjoyed Pretty Woman and Miss Congeniality. They’re all essential films that tell positive stories about women and gives them hope unlike those awful Fifty Shades film and if you want to know what I thought about the most recent film. Here is my rant and believe me, it is ugly.

    • mettelray

      Oh man, I .. yes, I hate Fifty Shades franchise and I go every year to hate watch in the cinema because I love to trash it from start to finish. In a way, it gives me the opportunity to just sit down and get all my anger out in one place. But I hated the first movie more than the second one, because the second one actually made me laugh a lot more than just cringe. Who knows what I will think of the third one. 90’s rom-coms forever my favourite though!

  • Sonia (A Film A Day)

    Miss Congeniality is a guilty pleasure of mine. I also liked Pretty Woman. I’m not sure I’ve seen The Princess Diaries.

  • I picked Miss Congeniality as well and is the pick for this week. I only have seen bits of Princess but it looks sweet. I have seen Pretty Woman and it is a fun twist on the Pygmalion tale. At least he turns her into a classy dame unlike Grease where she turns from a classy young girl into a slut.

  • m. brown

    Great picks, as even if all the women were pretty the whole time, the era you chose from means so much to me. A simpler time, no doubt.

    My first but reaction was She’s All That, as that might be the lamest/quintessential ‘ugly duckling’ movie ever!!!

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