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The Girl Most Likely To… (1973) (TV)

Reviewed on 2012 July 24

I saw this eons ago and appreciated it even more re-watching it as an adult. If revenge is a dish served cold, this is a mousse of the finest black chocolate.

Miriam Knight (Stockard Channing) is a funny, clever, college-aged woman struggling with the fact that nobody can get past her homely looks. People always shunned her, both shallow men and catty women alike, even though she tried to be appreciated for her inner beauty at multiple schools. She tries her hand at a huge state university and simply encounters more (and presumably nastier) people for her trouble. None of the peroxide-headed cookie-cutter women even want to be her friend and drag her to any parties, so her dreams of meeting a decent man appear to be hopeless.

Things come to a head one day when Miriam is in a terrible accident, and the plastic surgeons, unsure of what she looked like before, decide to just go for the brass ring and make her gorgeous. The disparity in how she’s treated as a beautiful person and the cruelty she endured as her former self makes her decide to take revenge on the people who were so blindly mean to her.

This is notable for being a unusual blend of campily vicious and charming; you can’t really dislike Channing here, even when you agree that yes, Miriam simply can’t go around doing that (though it’s still funny to watch: these people were awful). Even the cartoony quality of the extra-cruel people works. Joan Rivers gets a writing credit here, proving she’s funny when she’s not wasting her gifts insulting people. It’s also a lot of fun to see a pre-“Monster Squad”, pre-“Love Boat” Fred Grandy as a snotty med student.

Three chocolate morsels. Silly, funny, and dark without being too bitter.


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