In Sally Field’s first feature film, she takes on the theme of mothers, daughters, friendships and beauty pageants?!
Mona Hibbard, Minnie Driver has wanted one thing her entire life: To be a beauty queen.
As a teenager, Minnie is gawky, covered in braces but armed with a sheer determination to win something, anything, in a beauty contest, even if she wins for best shoes.
Meanwhile, Mona's uncaring mother could care less about her daughter's aspirations, and most of the time either totally ignores or ridicules her. This doesn't stop Mona, though. It just makes her work harder, even if she has to cheat and lie a little.
Mona then meets Ruby, played by Joey Lauren Adams, a plain but sweet girl, and the two become friends, partly because Ruby can sew and Mona needs costumes. Ruby ends up as Mona's confidant and moral guide, and as the two grow up together, they focus on only one thing, to get Mona crowned Miss America Miss.
However, things get really complicated when Mona finds out she is pregnant. By rule, being a mom automatically disqualifies you from entering any beauty competition.
She then leaves it all to Ruby to come up with a solution.
Jumping ahead seven years, Mona finally scores big by being crowned Miss Illinois, and her dreams of making it to the upcoming Miss America Miss pageant are finally coming true. Her daughter, Vanessa Hallie Kate Eisenberg, has been told since birth her mother is actually Ruby, and the 7-year-old tentatively believes the lie. However, things start to fall apart when Ruby is falsely accused of killing an elderly patient in her care, and is jailed.
Mona, for the first time, has to take care of Vanessa, and, desperate to have someone with her at the Miss America Miss pageant, takes the little girl.
The complications this causes at the pageant are many. Mona, at first, pretends she has no association with Vanessa because of the rules, much to Vanessa's aggravation. The other contestants get suspicious, as does a sneaky news reporter from Mona's hometown. Eventually, Mona gives in when Vanessa finally asks, "Why do I look so much like you?" - a question that forces Mona to look hard at herself and what she has become. And seeing this little girl, her little girl, for the first time, she decides to make it better. The ending is refreshingly surprising and certainly an affirmation for mothers everywhere.
This Comedy is rated PG-13.
Aside from Driver, Eisenberg and Adams, the film stars Kathleen Turner and Bridgette Wilson.
The film was produced by John Bertolli and BJ Rack, written by John Bernstein and released by Destination Films.
The Movie's running time is 1 hour and 52 minutes.
In its first week out, the film made a total of $1,400,000 - Albawaba.com.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)