Top 5 Beauty Pageant Movies

While growing up, a lot of us probably stayed up to watch the Miss America or Miss Universe pageant while quietly dreaming about being the woman who, at the end, would be in her evening gown with roses in her hand and a tiara on her head as she waved to all of the people admiring her beauty while she sashayed across the stage.

Then, as we got older, we faced the reality that most of us were not going to be in a pageant, let alone the title holder in one. So, we settled for watching movies about them, instead.

When it comes to what some of the best pageant movies of all-time actually are, in going through our mental rolodexes, it's a bit surprising that there were so many centered around that theme. So, while this article will mention ones that we thought were worthy of going on the "Top 5" list, make sure to do a bit of online research for others that didn't make the cut. (Wow. Kind of just like in the real pageants, huh?)

top 5 beauty pageant movies

Miss Congeniality (2000). 

Can you believe that it's been 12 years since Sandra Bullock played the cute and quirky (and sometimes extremely awkward) undercover special agent in this film? When the Federal Bureau of Investigation receives word that a highly-publicized pageant received a threat, Bullock's character is hired to protect everyone. One of the best parts of the story is that it reminds us that tomboys can be "glamour gals" at any age.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006). 

The cast alone makes this a stellar film. It includes Greg Kinnear, Steve Carrell, Toni Collette and "Little Miss Sunshine" (in her own remarkable way) herself, Abigail Breslin. It's a dark comedy that is utterly hilarious as a family loads up in a van heading towards the Little Miss Sunshine pageant, hoping to win the title (and the cash) as they experience all kinds of life-changing dramas and epiphanies along the way.

Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

Another film that is categorized in the "dark comedy", this movie tends to be more of a "mockumentary" of pageants as it follows several pageants of the Sarah Rose Cosmetics Mount Rose American Teen Princess Pageant in the little town on Minnesota. Kirstie Alley, Denise Richards and the late Brittany Murphy all make this a memorable (and pretty realistic when it comes to a lot of the outcomes) kind of tale.

Beautiful (2000). 

Beautiful is a movie that was filmed during the time when we were seeing a lot more of Minnie Driver than we currently do. In the movie, she seamlessly plays a young woman from a troubled home life who has one specific goal and that is to win the Miss America Miss pageant. However, Driver's character is a single mom and since they are not eligible to compete, her best friend takes Driver's daughter to raise as her own. You can only imagine the peaks and valleys that come with that kind of decision. It's great home entertainment, for sure.

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995). 

If this movie doesn't win the prize for anything else, it would have to for having one of the longest movie titles ever! It's also pretty funny thanks to Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo and the late Patrick Swayze as three very masculine-looking men play drag queens from New York who take a road trip to enter a big drag queen pageant in Hollywood. They're in for a bumpy ride (to say the least) as the lessons of acceptance of people's differences are taught in a comical and lighthearted kind of way. There's truth in all humor, right? Well done.

(Guest Post by Carol)

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