Film edits were first created in the 1920s and have come a long way since then. Some of the best edits in movie history consist of a catchy song, lots of camera movement, and cuts at various points in the edit. Some edits cater to heavy storytelling, and sometimes they even skip through time periods. However, they all have one major commonality: the edits are intended to develop both the character and the plot to achieve the story arc.
Makeover edits have been a popular tactic for developing a story arc when the film’s main character transitions from one “personality” to a new one. These streaks began to peak in the early 90s, when a woman went through a Cinderella-like transformation to bond with her charming prince. The earliest remnants of these can be seen in films like Fat and Ally Sheedy’s transformation at the end of The Breakfast Club. Montages serve as scenes of transformation and often display a change in character at the surface level. The 2000s delivered some of the most memorable makeover sequences in movie history, and some of those movies have even become cult classics today. Here are the best makeover sequences of the 2000s, ranked.
4 house rabbit
When Playboy Bunny Shelley learns she has to leave the mansion because she’s too old to be a bunny, she finds herself on a college campus where she soon meets the Zeta Alpha Zeta girls. They take her in and make her their stay-at-home mom, and in return, Shelley turns the geeky girls Zeta into college campus bombshells. house rabbit matches nearly every key point of a classic makeover montage scene, right down to the catchy pop song. Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” plays as Shelley teaches the girls how to completely revamp their look the Playboy Bunny way. The interesting twist in house rabbit is that Shelley has to go through a makeover scene after Oliver catches her eye, and Oliver isn’t one to fall for her bunny tricks. He is reserved, intelligent and seeks more than just flirting. So in exchange for her efforts, the Zeta girls help shape Shelley into the kind of girl Oliver would be interested in. Overall, Shelley and the Zeta girls all learn that the best thing to be is yourself.
3 mean girls
mean girls came out in 2004 and slowly became the cult classic it is today. Tina Fey’s comedic brilliance helped bring this feminist comedy film to life, so much so that October 3 has become “Mean Girls Day.” When we are first introduced to Cady Heron, she is a new transfer student who has just returned from Africa with her parents after being homeschooled. She meets outcasts Damien and Janis Ian, both of whom give her insight into the school’s hierarchy. After the popular “mean girls” take an interest in Cady, the three devise a plot to eliminate the plastics once and for all. However, in her efforts to help Janis defeat her nemesis, Regina George, Cady becomes the very thing she is trying to destroy.
Going plastic was an easy feat for Cady considering she had three of the most popular girls in school to turn her into. There’s even a moment in the movie where Regina claims she “invented Cady.” Cady’s makeover scene is probably the simplest edit of the 2000s, but it comes with unbeatable storytelling that really captures the importance of being a teenager desperate to fit in. Cady recounts the scene in reference to Gretchen: “She knew it was better to be in plastics, hating life, than not to be in it at all. Because being in plastics was like being famous. The intro is short and quick.The four scatter into what is presumably Regina’s bedroom, then there’s a cut to the mall.The camera pans from the feet up, revealing Cady’s full makeover, showing that Cady has officially traded in her military pants and flip flops for short skirts and heels.
2 Miss Conviviality
Miss Conviviality quickly became a 2000s classic and is on every Sandra Bullock best movie list for every fan. Bullock plays FBI agent Gracie, who, after a brief lapse in judgment on the job, faces potentially costly disciplinary action. Yet, after piecing together where The Citizen, the FBI’s most wanted terrorist, might attack next, she’s tasked with going undercover in a beauty pageant. When we first meet Gracie, she’s a disorganized mess, devoid of any sense of femininity. However, for the pageant, she has to put aside her feminist sentiments and transition into a typical pageant runner aesthetic. The brilliant Michael Caine plays Victor Melling, the pageant world’s most notable beauty consultant. He works effortlessly with the FBI to turn Gracie into pageant queen, but he even doubts himself at times. The makeover montage is cut to show Gracie bordering on torture and the male FBI agents readying their guns and eating sandwiches. Miss Conviviality is a must when it comes to makeover montages.
1 The Diary of a Princess
The 2001 Disney classic, The Diary of a Princess is one of the greatest princess tales not just of the 2000s, but of all time. Mia Thermopolis, a quiet girl from San Francisco, learns on her 16th birthday that she’s actually the heiress of the jerk in a country called Genovia. Reluctant to put up with her grandmother’s princess training, Mia easily receives the biggest makeover montage of the 2000s. Mia’s grandmother, the Queen of Genovia, asks Paolo for a favor to alter the look of his granddaughter on that of royalty.
Paolo walks in and asks where the Queen’s granddaughter is, and after addressing Mia, he lets out a hilarious audible scream. From that point on, the chemistry between Larry Miller and Anne Hathaway is hilarious and amazing. From Mia’s hair breaking Paolo’s brush to Paolo breaking Mia’s glasses in half, the scene is easily one of the best makeover montages of the early 2000s. However, it’s not just the looks from Mia who must endure her transition from ordinary teenager to princess: Mia must change all her behavior and learn to speak, act and move like kings.
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