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as "Big Bob" Freelander
as Brenda DiCarlo
as Tommy French
as Wilson Shears
as Andy DiCarlo
as Connie Thompson/'Miss Imperial County'
as Robin Gibson/'Miss Antelope Valley'
as Shirley Tolstoy/'Miss San Diego'
as Doria Houston/'Miss Anaheim'
as Maria Gonzales/'Miss Salinas'
as Karen Love/'Miss Simi Valley'
as Judy Wagner/'Miss Modesto'
as Emil Eidleman
as Ray Brandy
as "Little Bob" Freelander
as Orren Brooks
as Ted Farley
as Jo Ann Marshall
as Dr. Malvert
as "Miss Fountain Valley"
Critic Reviews for Smile
Great spoof of beauty pageants
like a season of I Love the '70s condensed into two hours, and in its intimation that this is a uniquely disposable culture it's decades ahead of VH-1
Audience Reviews for Smile
Brilliant satire of the inherent flaws of beauty pageants, this subtle, yet laugh-out-loud 70s gem works amazingly on two levels - both as a slice-of-life view of the inner workings of the small town show, while also clearly commenting on the earnestness and motives of the supporters and contestants. It plays like a more subtle version of the film Little Miss Sunshine. Insightful, innocent, heartbreaking, dark, and yet awkwardly hopeful and hilarious all the way through. The uncanny portrayals and insights of the filmmakers make this an even more enjoyable treat. From the naive, cliched speeches, the bubbly off-key singing, and the off-kilter performances, to the back stage fussing and marital struggles being set aside for the sake of the show, this is a rather complete picture of small town pageant life with a tongue-in-cheek flair making it all the more entertaining. The fact that it's characters are so naively innocent, earnest, and sarcasm-free makes it even more touching, authentic and completely hilarious. Skewering the kkk and other lesser parts of Americana keep this on the darker side, so be aware. A few things here are disconcerting for some. With that in mind, wow - what a crazy look at the times around my childhood, and what it looks like now. A young Melanie Griffith and Annette O Toole are part of the fun too. The movie went pretty much unnoticed when it first came out, but has since become a cult classic. Enjoy! 5 hat-and-cane numbers out of 5
Released the same year as Robert Altman's "Nashville," "Smile" takes a similar satirical look at lowbrow American culture. What's most wonderful is that this Michael Ritchie film not only paints a ruthless picture of a vapid "Young American Miss" pageant, steadily refusing to grant the audience any note of reassuring sentimentality, but that its gags are often laugh-out-loud funny (particularly during the talent competition). Not all satires manage to operate on that more visceral level. The cast is full of faces who became much more familiar later -- Melanie Griffith, Annette O'Toole, Dennis Dugan, George Wyner, Colleen Camp -- but Bruce Dern stands out as the dim but well-meaning head judge (a car salesman during the rest of the year) who always tries to put an upbeat spin on life.
This is a nostalgic gem--a snapshot of a lifestyle from bygone days. Bruce Dern with that winning car salesman smile captures the joy & naiviete of a generation. Co-stars Barbara Feldman (Get Smart's Agent 99) & a very young Eric Shea (Castaway Cowboy, Po\seidon) are a wonderful supportive cast for this "picture perfect" look at life in white suburbia pre-60's. I don't even think Rock n Roll has hit this little Santa Rosa, Californian town. In its innocence this is a look at if NOT a small town geographically at least in mentality "small town" life filled with sameness, homogeneousness. Excellent actors make this movie a "worth see" in my book! My "book" WILL include at least a chapter or so somehow sharing the amazing "playground" that the Southwest used to be to us Midwestern "transplants."
|Robin Gibson/"Miss Antelope Valley":||Well, I'm just glad I'm not old enough to vote.|
|Doria Houston/"Miss Anaheim":||It's a CONTEST!|
|Doria Houston/"Miss Anaheim":||No, I won two hundered dollars and had a wart removed.|
|Little Bob Freelander:||Dad, are there any fat girls in the contest?|
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