Miss Congeniality is a 2000 American police comedy film directed by Donald Petrie, written by Marc Lawrence, Katie Ford, and Caryn Lucas, and starring Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, and Candice Bergen.
Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) and Eric Matthews (Benjamin Bratt) are Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The bureau receives a threat against the 75th annual Miss United States beauty pageant in San Antonio, Texas from notorious domestic terrorist "Citizen". A computer search identifies Hart as the female FBI agent best qualified to go undercover as a contestant, although she pays little attention to her femininity. Beauty pageant coach Victor Melling (Michael Caine) teaches the tomboyish Hart how to dress, walk, and act like a contestant. She is unused to such behavior, however, and sees the pageant and its participants as "outdated and antifeminist". Several suspects exist, including competition director and former pageant winner Kathy Morningside (Candice Bergen); her unpleasant assistant Frank Tobin (Steve Monroe); veteran emcee Stan Fields (William Shatner) who, like Morningside, is being replaced with a younger person; and Rhode Island's Cheryl Frasier (Heather Burns), possibly a radical animal rights activist. Representing New Jersey as "Gracie Lou Freebush", Hart impresses the audience by playing the glass harp and demonstrating self-defense techniques during the talent competition. She unexpectedly becomes friends with Frasier and the other contestants, and when Citizen is caught elsewhere Hart and Matthews continue the investigation alone. Hart surprises everyone, including herself, by becoming runner-up to Frasier. The agents discover that Morningside and Tobinsecretly her sonimpersonated Citizen, and prevent them from assassinating Frasier with a bomb in the title tiara. Hart's fellow contestants choose her as Miss Congeniality, and she starts a relationship with Matthews.