Movie Makeover Central
October 7, 2010 8:25 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for examples of the makeover montage in movies. You know, character undergoes radical transformation, set to music? A la Brittany Murphy in Clueless, or Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Obvious and obscure examples of any time-period welcome, and while montages are my main priority I welcome other memorable movie makeovers. Female examples only, please.
posted by hermitosis to Media & Arts (36 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Anne Hathaway in "The Princess Diaries".
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:26 AM on October 7, 2010


Anne Hathaway (again) in The Devil Wears Prada.
posted by rtha at 8:28 AM on October 7, 2010


Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire
posted by peachfuzz at 8:28 AM on October 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


TV Tropes gives (in addition to those already mentioned):

# Sandra Bullock undergoes one for Miss Congeniality. Waxing was involved.
# Occurs in Memoir of a Geisha, in both the book and film version.
# Occurs over a course of a few scenes in Mean Girls with Cady.
# Alyson Hannigan in Date Movie.
posted by jedicus at 8:30 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you watch the made-for-TV version of "Gypsy" (the one with Bette Middler as Mama Rose), the transformation of Louise to Gypsy Rose Lee is makeover-like.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:31 AM on October 7, 2010


Deepika Padukone in the second half of Om Shanti Om (with strong product placement of Maybelline cosmetics)
posted by Cuppatea at 8:31 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jawbreaker.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:32 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ally Sheedy's makeover in the Breakfast Club... not a montage but set to music, if I'm remembering correctly.
posted by shaun uh at 8:32 AM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oddly enough, the TV Tropes page mentions the makeover sequence in Mulan but doesn't list it as an example.
posted by jedicus at 8:33 AM on October 7, 2010


You are forgetting about the classic Allison Reynolds makeover in The Breakfast Club!
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:34 AM on October 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


She's All That is a whole film based on it - years since I've seen it but there must be some in there.
posted by mippy at 8:34 AM on October 7, 2010


She's Out of Control was always my favorite.
posted by Zophi at 8:34 AM on October 7, 2010


My Big Fat Greek Wedding
posted by ifjuly at 8:35 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Oh, you know I should have checked TV Tropes! But still, these are great, keep em coming.

Robin Williams

No dudes!
posted by hermitosis at 8:35 AM on October 7, 2010


Melanie Griffith's character in Working Girl gets one of the best movie makeovers ever.

And there's a hilarious makeover in Bride of Chucky — Chucky's bride doll makes herself over from a sweet bride doll in white dress and veil to a sexed-up punk rock look (dress ripped to thigh, black fingernail polish, black tights, black hair dye, black lipstick and black leather jacket) while Chucky sits there and leers at her. It's a riot.
posted by orange swan at 8:36 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This page on Oh No They Didn't adds:

She's Out of Control
Moonstruck
Never Been Kissed
Clueless
Pretty Woman
Grease
My Fair Lady

The page refers to makeover montages, but I don't know if all of these are examples of that particular form.
posted by jedicus at 8:37 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cyd Charisse in Silk Stockings (sorry, couldn't find a clip).
posted by JanetLand at 8:37 AM on October 7, 2010


The cartoon Clone High has a series of makeover montages that parody this trope.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:39 AM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Another compilation adds:

Coyote Ugly
Aquamarine
Strictly Ballroom
She's the Man
A Cinderella Story
Pollyanna
Earth Girls are Easy

These are merely described as 'makeover scenes [including] shopping montages' and may or may not be proper makeover montages. For example, the list includes Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and while Hermione does dress up for the dance, I don't recall any sort of makeover montage.
posted by jedicus at 8:41 AM on October 7, 2010


NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE has a great shtick on this as well.
posted by Gucky at 8:44 AM on October 7, 2010


The Weather Man has an interesting twist on this trope. Nic Cage's daughter is overweight, and much is made of her inappropriately-fitting clothes. One of the movie's few scenes of good cheer comes when Nic Cage treats his daughter to a day out shopping, in which she happily models (and buys) more flattering clothes appropriate for her body type.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:48 AM on October 7, 2010


Well, Tootsie has Dustin Hoffman turning into a woman...but I'm not sure that counts. Also, Breakfast Club has a pretty good scene with Ally Sheedy getting made over by Molly Ringwald.
posted by victoriab at 8:53 AM on October 7, 2010


There's a fabulous montage in Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead where Christina Applegate transforms from "trendy teenager" to "sophisticated business lady" (all by early 1990s standards).
posted by litnerd at 8:55 AM on October 7, 2010


orange swan: "Working Girl"

Oops, sorry...should have previewed. Yes, the Working Girl makeover is fantastic...still a great movie too.
posted by victoriab at 8:55 AM on October 7, 2010


http://ihatewheat.wordpress.com/2007/06/05/list-best-movie-makeover-scenes/
posted by elpea at 9:22 AM on October 7, 2010


Oddly enough, the TV Tropes page mentions the makeover sequence in Mulan but doesn't list it as an example.

This is a really interesting example because there are TWO makeovers, one that's traditional, and that's a makeover turned on its head.

First, Mulan has to meet the matchmaker who will set her up with a husband, and there's a cute little musical scene where her mother and grandmother bathe her, brush and style her hair, put on all this ugly makeup, make her wear a silly bustle.... and Mulan looks totally ridiculous at the end of it.

THEN, when news of her father's drafting reaches the family, Mulan sneaks out of bed at night, cuts off her hair, puts it up in a warrior's bun, dons her father's armor, and rides off on her horse. She looks badass. Honestly, I never thought of how radical that scene was until now - it makes the prettifying makeover cliché look so silly and impotent by comparison. It would be a cool example to show next to makeovers where ugly women are turned pretty.
posted by zoomorphic at 9:34 AM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, the Mulan reverse-makeover reminds me - it's been a while since I've seen the movie, so I'm not sure if the scene is really set to music (and it's not exactly a montage, I don't think), but what about Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight, when she goes from Nice Suburban Mom (back) to Tough Assassin?
posted by rtha at 9:48 AM on October 7, 2010


The cartoon Clone High has a series of makeover montages that parody this trope.

It's been almost half an hour and I still have that song stuck in my head.

Makeover, makeover, makeover, makeover, makeover, makeover...for you and me!
posted by lizjohn at 9:54 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


La Femme Nikita and it's American remake Point of No Return.
posted by cazoo at 9:56 AM on October 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


In House Bunny, Anna Faris makes over the entire Zeta Alpha Zeta sorority.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:06 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joanne Woodward in "A New Kind of Love"
Jodie Foster in "Freaky Friday"

makeover minus montage:
Bette Davis in "Now, Voyager"
Stockard Channing in "The Girl Most Likely To..."
posted by mefireader at 12:46 PM on October 7, 2010


Vertigo has a makeover/transformation, but not really of the ugly-duckling to pretty princess variety.
posted by JenMarie at 2:15 PM on October 7, 2010


Not montages but still memorable:
Private Benjamin: Goldie Hawn's gradual reverse makeover.
Grease: Olivia Newton-John's surprise makeover at the end of the movie.
My Fair Lady: Audrey Hepburn's gradual makeover
Disney's Cinderella: obviously
posted by iviken at 3:49 PM on October 7, 2010


Mel Gibson watches his daughter try on prom dresses and grooves to Christina Aguilera in What Women Want.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 12:46 PM on October 8, 2010


Elfine Starkadder in Cold Comfort Farm.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:15 PM on October 11, 2010


Better late than never, the opening sequence of Thoroughly Modern Millie.
posted by phunniemee at 1:48 PM on May 28, 2011


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