The 6 Craziest Beauty Pageant Movies Ever Made
The perfect beauty pageant film is almost impossible to execute—how can you possibly match the level of crazy on screen that pageant life generates IRL? Betrayal, political incorrectness, sex scandals, murder plots … the pageant world is rife with CW-level drama. (TBH, we’re pretty surprised that the teen network has yet to jump aboard the pageant craze—free business advice, right here.)
These 6 picks, though, come dangerously close to capturing the weirdness of the pageant experience.
Scroll down below to preview the wildest pageant films out there.
Drop Dead Gorgeous
This strange, twisted film mocks the pageant experience through the lens of the Sarah Rose Cosmetics American Teen Princess Pageant, set in small town Minnesota. Some will truly stop at nothing to hold the title. We're not going to give too much away, but Kirsten Dunst's Minnesotan accent alone is worth the watch.
A true hallmark of pageant films, Sandra Bullock's star turn follows an FBI agent forced to go undercover as a contestant at the annual Miss United States beauty pageant in order to upend a security threat. The premise is ridiculous, but the journey is rom-com gold.
Little Miss Sunshine
Though unmistakably weird, Little Miss Sunshine has to be one of the most heartfelt pageant films out there. Peak Abigail Breslin; peak family dysfunction—trust us, it's a must-see.
Starring the lovable Holly Hunter, Miss Firecracker is essentially My Fair Lady with a Southern, beauty queen-aspiring twist.
Mona (Minnie Driver) sets out to conquer her pageantry dreams, all while deftly masking her inelligibilty (she has a daughter). As I'm sure you've already inferred, this movie has it all: emotional stakes, makeover sequences, the possible fulfillment of a lifelong dream... Go forth, watch!
Crowned & Dangerous
This 1997 made-for-TV movie stands head and shoulders above the rest—I mean, murder + pageantry is an unbeatable combination (seriously, why do they always go hand-in-hand??). Though little proof can be found online, the film claims to be based on a true story, bumping it to the top of our pageant film queue.