“I feel just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. You know, without the whole hooker thing.” (Laney Boggs in She’s All That)
As a child I was named ‘Ugly Duckling’ in my family, which to my frustration shortened to ‘Duck’ as I became older. Being forever embarrassed by my light-hearted nickname, and the pressures from society, I decided to makeover myself. I took more care in fashion, cosmetics and my body. (Don’t worry, I kept a keen eye on my studies too!) With a remake of Cinderella ready for the big screen at the end of the month, I wanted to take a look at the top movie makeovers.
Firstly, is the fantastic She’s All That, where Laney Boggs sheds her arty, solitary self for a popular IT crowd member. By the end of the film she is set for Prom Queen, what more could any teen wish for?
Another Prom Queen in the making was Cady Heron, who dreamed of making it into the Plastics to destroy them, only to discover she was becoming one. Is the philosophy “On Wednesday’s we wear pink!” such an awful way to live one’s life? Apparently so, because by the end of the movie Lohan’s character reverted back to her denim wearing roots. Although this character shed her Mean Girls self behind, Lindsay Lohan continues to leave her fans in shock and awe with her off screen makeovers!
It seems that in the world of chick flick/ teen comedy it is the female character who must change her dowdy ways. This is presented perfectly in Cher’s desire to bring Tai, an exchange student, into her A crowd in the 90s cult hit, Clueless. Brittany Murphy goes from grungy dropout chic to slick and well- groomed, a successful project for the movie’s lead, Cher. Luckily, she notices the need to makeover her mind and opts for a change in attitude to school and the environment.
Why are these stories of makeovers so appealing to audiences around the world? Is it the rags to riches hope in us all? The common thread between these films is that all of the characters who experience a makeover find negativity and ‘lose their way’. Fitting into the film formula that has been successfully entertaining us for decades, is the understanding that it is what is inside that makes us beautiful and interesting… Thankfully, the Prince, in Cinderella, notices that in his fair beauty! But to be honest, Lily James is pretty beautiful on the outside too!
I look forward to seeing Kenneth Branagh’s modern day fairy-tale in the cinema this Easter!