Thursday Movie Picks: Ugly Duckling to Beautiful Swan

I hope you're ready for some rom coms! This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is about ugly ducklings that become swans. You know, that moment a girl takes off her glasses and she's now totally hot? Yep. That shallow shit. There's actually a handful of films I enjoy despite this trope. Mostly for nostalgia reasons. Here's three of my favorites. 

1) She's All That

This is the obvious choice. I thought of going with something a little older like Funny Face but this is like the Godfather of ugly duckling movies. Lainey's walk down the staircase after getting a hair cut, an eyebrow wax and a nice dress is iconic. 

2) Jawbreaker

I love this movie so much. Fern Mayo goes from frumpy to the ultimate hot bitch Violette. So catty, so ridiculous, so amazing. 

3) The New Guy

You guys remember DJ Qualls? Or that time he was a huge nerd at one school, got expelled and became the cool kid at another? Well, that was this movie. This isn't actually one of my favorites but I didn't want to choose all female stories. 

22 comments:

  1. Yup...haven’t seen any of these but want to see the first one one day. Glad you picked a male swan movie

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    1. Those male swans are hard to come by. lol

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  2. Happens to me every time I put in contacts haha

    I haven't seen any of these but it's nice to see a male experiencing that.

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    1. Jawbreaker is the best of the list, IMO. It's very twisted but a good watch.

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  3. She’s All That was something that immediately came to my mind for this theme. I haven’t seen the third one. I think I’m going to watch Jawbreaker one of these days; I remember it being too dark for me - I haven’t begun appreciating dark comedies then.

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    1. Jawbreaker is great. I thought a bunch of other people would pick She's All That and so far I haven't seen another.

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  4. Love these!

    She's All That is so ridiculous in that way but it is such an amiable comedy, with a terrific supporting cast, that you can forgive it many things. It also has one of my favorite laugh out loud silly moments that are still totally enjoyable. They're all at the school dance and a song comes on and suddenly you're in a music video where EVERYBODY knows the complicated dance steps and are completely in sync! Preposterous but fun.

    Jawbreaker is dark but a good film, I found my way to it by a suggestion of it in the themes one week.

    I'll join in saying good on you for finding a male version of the story. The New Guy is the lesser of the three but not painful.

    Your choice of the last made me realize all mine are female centered which I hadn't even thought about until now...it just seems the way they go. At least with my first the character changes more than just her appearance in the makeover.

    Now, Voyager (1942)-Old maid Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) is a member of an extremely wealthy Boston family whose spirit has been crushed by her gorgon of a mother (a truly hateful Gladys Cooper) until during a visit to their home by kindly psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains) Charlotte suffers a nervous breakdown and he whisks her away to his retreat for rich nutcases “Cascade”. While there she begins to rebuild her long suppressed confidence and emerges a beautiful swan on a cruise to South America. On the trip she meets the dashing but lonely Jerry Durrance (Paul Henreid) who is trapped in a bad marriage and falls for him. But there’s plenty of bumpy road ahead for this pair and those in their sphere all executed in top flight fashion in amazing clothes set to a swooningly romantic soundtrack. A gigantic hit in its day this was the most profitable picture of Davis’s career. The ne plus ultra of Ugly Duckling movies!

    Miss Congeniality (2000)-To put it mildly FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) is rough around the edges, she eats with her hands, chews with her mouth open and her idea of fashion is what’s clean that day, but having just blown a big case she finds she can’t refuse when she is recruited to go undercover as a contestant in the Miss United States beauty pageant when a threat is received. Despite many people’s doubt including pageant show runner Kathy Morningside (Candice Bergen) and the coach hired to smooth her feathers Victor Melling (Michael Caine) as well as her own obstinacy Gracie is pulled, pummeled and plucked into a beauty. While working the case she even learns to lighten up and appreciate a different outlook. Breezy comedy is a perfect fit for Sandra Bullock.

    Pygmalion (1938)-First filming of the George Bernard Shaw play where a snobbish linguist bets a crony that he can transform a common flower peddler into a great lady by teaching her proper speech. Not as grandiloquent as My Fair Lady but both Leslie Howard as Professor Henry Higgins and Wendy Hiller as Eliza Doolittle create memorable characters. Wendy is actually more successful with her Eliza than Audrey Hepburn would later be since despite her innate dignity she makes a believable guttersnipe in the initial segment of the movie.

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    1. I am the only person who hasn't picked Miss Congeniality! lol. The first pick is sold on me with Bette Davis.

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  5. I've seen She's All That but completely forgot about it.Haven't seen either Jawbreaker or The New Guy.

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    1. Jawbreaker is awesome. I definitely recommend.

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  6. I've seen all three of those films as Jawbreaker has its moments as does The New Guy despite some awful cameos. She's All That is a film I didn't really like when it came out and I still don't. That prom scene with the choreographed dancing really took me out of the film. I never went to prom when I was in high school and I'm glad I never did.

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    1. Yeah that was ridiculous and I'm glad Not Another Teen Movie parodied that.

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  7. Shes All That is probably THE duckling to swan film. Not Another Teen Movie just ripped off the story...but that did give us Chris Evans so....I shouldn't complain.

    I haven't seen Jawbreaker but my friend loves this film!

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    1. There's never anything wrong with Chris Evans in a whip cream speedo. lol

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  8. I haven't seen any of these movies. They all sound like they might be fun.

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  9. This was such a weird week for me, I was just not at all sure what to pick but I like your choices here! All make sense, though I haven't seen Jawbreaker and the other two I didn't really enjoy. She's All That comes to mind as Not Another Teen Movie to me, I always struggle to remember what movie the Chris Evans character was spoofing with his whipped cream bikini... so that's why I didn't even think to mention She's All That. :D

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    1. I'm kicking myself for not thinking of Not Another Teen Movie. I love that line where all she does it take out the girl's ponytail and takes off her glasses and goes "I did it. I'm a genius."

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  10. I started at Batter's site, but OF COURSE you nailed it with She's All That. The godfather, indeed. RLC destroyed my 19 year old mind. And PANTS. Even if the movie is basically as surprising as an episode of Scooby Dio.

    I remember not knowing what the He'll to make of Jawbreaker, though Rose McGowan was always a fan favorite of...well...every guy with eyes. I may revisit it one day. Perhaps.

    Oh, I never saw The New Guy. That DJ dude kind of made me want to punch him in his aw shucks face.

    Great post!

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    1. I was so young when Jawbreaker came out that I'm surprised I liked it so much. That movie was probably way too mature for my age at the time. lol

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  11. She's All That was like the teen movie of the late 90's right...I almost picked it myself.

    Jawbreaker, I really don't remember the makeover thing...I haven't seen it in a long time.

    I think I've seen The New Guy too, but I can't remember anything about it.

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