Smile

  • Film
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A gentle, sometimes sharp look at small-town American life via the build-up to Santa Rosa's Young American Miss competition, a meat market underlining the community's obsession with appearances, its self-deception and complacency. At its centre, the film is concerned with the lack of intercourse, both social and private, between men and women, and how institutions like the Young American Miss reinforce the sexes' suspicions of each other. Perhaps a more caustic picture was intended, but the film grows to like its characters, and the final result is amusingly indulgent and generous in a way few current American films are: one has to look to East Europe (especially the work of Milos Forman) for a similar quality of ironic compassion.

Release details

Duration: 113 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Michael Ritchie
Screenwriter: Jerry Belson
Cast: Bruce Dern
Barbara Feldon
Michael Kidd
Geoffrey Lewis
Nicholas Pryor
Colleen Camp
Annette O'Toole
Melanie Griffith
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