QUIBBLES & BITS
From Deni Dietz, wearing her editor's hat.
Recently I've had a slew of ugly duckling romance submissions. Well, the submissions weren't ugly---except for all those underlined words; italics are okay nowadays, people, honest!
The heroines were ugly ducklings.
Apparently, romance heroines don't have mirrors.
So that got me thinking...
In movies, as well as books, the "ugly" girls always look as if they are three seconds away from dieting effortlessly, then ripping off their oversized glasses and starring in an Olay commercial.
Here are some examples:
Drew Barrymore, Never Been Kissed. Newspaper reporter Josie/Drew is sent back to high school for an undercover report. A former outsider, all it takes to hot up Josie is to dress her like the real-life Barrymore, including a cutesy head of ringlets, and soon Josie's popular as all get out. Was she hot or not? Not. Drew can play ugly really well.
Julia Roberts, America's Sweetheart. Kiki/Julia is the personal assistant to her drop-dead gorgeous actress sister. Kiki's dowdy, but it's nothing some wardrobe and hair straightener can't fix. Still, the hero is able to see that beneath the ponytails, glasses, and sensible sweater sets, Kiki's got a great personality. Of course it helps that she's, uh, Julia Roberts. Hot or not? Hot, in a sexy librarian way.
Anne Hathaway, Princess Diaries. Mia/Anne, an awkward, gangly teen, discovers that she's heir to small European nation. The royal stylist tames Mia's birdnest of frizzy curls, trims her unibrow, ditches her glasses, and turns her into a beauty. Hot or Not? Not. Anne Hathaway makes a surprisingly convincing ugly duckling.
Janeane Garofalo, The Truth About Dogs and Cats. Radio talk-show host Abby/Janeane chickens out when a handsome man wants to meet her and instead asks her model friend Uma Thurman to impersonate her. Abby falls in love with the handsome man, but her makeover is largely internal. Hot or Not? Hot. Despite Thurmond's supposedly physical superiority, Abby is charming, smart, and cute. To the movie's credit, she doesn't require a glamorous makeover to nab the hot guy in the end.
Nia Vardalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Toula/Nia is a single, shy, 30-year-old Greek woman living with her parents and working at the family restaurant, until she decides to transform her life by getting a makeover. She ditches the glasses, buys a new wardrobe, and discovers the magic of makeup. Hot or Not? Not. Props to Mia for allowing herself to look atrocious at the beginning of the film.
Any other candidates? How about Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality?
As I write this blog, I'm working on a book where the heroine is Not in the beginning and Hot by the end of the book. She weighs the same at age 19 as she did at 10, but...she grows 9 inches taller.
Over and Out,
Deni, wishing she could grow 9 inches taller!