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Estelle Caswell

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Anatomy of a makeover movie

Miss Congeniality is my go to pick-me-up movie. Sandra Bullock's transformation from a tomboyish FBI agent to a badass undercover contestant for the Miss America beauty pageant is so much fun to watch. Why does this movie get me every time? Well...

It's a makeover movie! Makeovers in movies are a classic Hollywood trope. They get at the heart of the underdog story and there are some very important moments that always seem to happen in them. Here are a few:

1. The main character falls in love and falls hard, literally.

Take this moment in the 1999 film, She's All That. Laney Boggs, played by Rachel Leigh Cook, is awkward and clumsy and ultimately gets the most popular guy in school to fall in love with her. Apparently, if you fall in act one you get the guy in act three.

2. The main character discovers the healing powers of a hairbrush and contacts.

The actual makeover scene typically starts in a suburban shopping mall and ends with the protagonist getting their unibrow plucked by their best friend. This, of course, all done through the use of montage.

3. The big reveal. Typically shot from a male perspective... because Hollywood.

The moment in the film we've all been waiting for. If we're lucky, we usually get a few reaction shots of the leading man. It's always important to know how he feels about everything. Let it roll.

So watch our latest video up top, or on Youtube, about where these makeovers came from, and why we love them so much.


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