Congratulations, Sandra Bullock, you’ve made a romantic comedy without a romantic interest. While you’re at it perhaps you could make me a candle without a wick and a virgin Long Island iced tea. Both would be equally useful.
“Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” (Warner Bros.) is about frumpy FBI Agent Gracie Hart, played by Bullock, whose undercover work with the Miss America pageant earned her professional laudation and national admiration. However, after her nationwide recognition proves to be a liability and her boyfriend reveals her last name, Agent Hart shirks her agency to assume the role of “The Face of the FBI.” This necessitates a makeover of which we are spared the montage. When Miss America is kidnapped, Agent Hart is mobilized to return to the field to rescue her best friend.
“Miss Congeniality 2” has the clich?d, uncreative sense of humor that comes from bastardizing the word “comedy” by putting the word “romantic” in front of it. However, the omnipresent phantom of Agent Hart’s ex-boyfriend hardly constitutes a romantic interest. In fact, the movie is pretty obviously trying to squeeze feminism into size six high heels and a size two miniskirt. It is playfully misandristic. The movie separates men into two categories: the weak-willed, subordinate, flamboyant “good guys” and the masculine, assertive, “bad guys.” Then it knees the bad guys at a rate of 5 gph (groins per hour). The ovaries that went into this movie could buy me a lifetime supply of Midol. The message gets convoluted when Miss America gets a man in the end and Sandra Bullock ends up with her hostile and aggressive bodyguard.
I respect that Bullock’s ex-boyfriend didn’t return bleary-eyed with his tail between his legs. However, I didn’t care about the film or its characters. That’s because I am not the target audience. The target audience declared tonight “girls night” and went out to dinner with four of her girlfriends to demonstrate her independence from men, but more importantly to talk about boys. The target audience wanted to be told that women don’t need men, but also wanted to be shown that knowing this will get you an even cuter boyfriend in the end. Denied closure in the form of tongue kissing and some under the shirt over the bra action, I cannot imagine the target audience feeling satisfied with the final message, “In the end, what do we all really want? Yes, world peace.”
All symptomatic dissection aside, Bullock was good. She must have been blindfolded when she walked into the open mouth of the beast I call “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous.”
“Miss Congeniality 2” opens Friday in Washington, D.C.