Cinema: Sneer

SMILE

Directed by MICHAEL RITCHIE

Screenplay by JERRY BELSON

It is hard to understand why anyone would bother to make Smile at all—let alone with loving, modish, professional care. The movie undertakes to point out that beauty contests—in this case, the California finals of the mythical Young American Miss Pageant—are vulgar and stupid exercises that bring out the worst in everyone: sponsors, contestants, audiences. This is not exactly big news. If it were, Bert Parks would be out of the last of his jobs, since the reason that most people tune in events like...

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