Smile 05/08/21

Fun City Editions

Near the pinnacle of director-driven ’70s cinema is this marvelous comedy about an ‘American Miss’ contest, and the swirl of personalities that come to support, promote and ogle the teen beauties just learning the ropes of the good old U.S. hype machine. Bruce Dern, Barbara Feldon and Michael Kidd are just wonderful as the adults in charge of the pageantry; Annette O’Toole, Joan Prather and Melanie Griffifth are among the hopefuls, learning an early lesson in a time honored, entirely bogus Americana ritual: as Michael Kidd says, he teaches these sweet kids to dance and behave like Vegas showgirls. It’s deceptively, distractingly funny — and as true as the day is long. With Eric Shea, Geoffrey Lewis and Nicholas Pryor. On Blu-ray from Fun City Editions.