For a movie that exists entirely in the aging comedy danger zone (an almost 50 year old movie about a teen beauty pageant) Smile fucking shreds. Totally holds up, feels like it has a moral compass from 2019. It’s never horny for the girls, it’s a skewering satire of homogeny, perfection, and small-town white America values. Michael Ritchie, who I fucking love, did this and The Candidate back-to-back. Unbelievable. Conrad Hall DPs, it’s gorgeous, relaxed, confident. Bruce Dern’s character is so funny, such a shrewd encapsulation of the film’s thesis.
Forgive some pacing issues, Ritchie’s semidocumentary approach is a little overwhelmed by the sprawling behind-the-scenes structure. I think the janitors’ scenes are my favorite runner in any movie.
Extremely recommended to my comedy friends on here, the lowish-key jokes mixed with the general naturalism of the performances really slays IMO.