Let’s take a moment and give it up for this 1975 Michael Ritchie film, an example of the kind of social satire that has pretty much disappeared from movie theatres — a kind that doesn’t exaggerate, deals plain but clever cards, favors subtlety over hammer blows and treats its characters with dignity, or a semblance of. But Karyn Kusama says it better:

In his 10.9.75 review, N.Y. Times critic Vincent Canby called Smile, which focuses on an annual Junior Miss beauty pageant in Santa Rosa, California, “a pungent surprise, a rollicking satire that misses few of the obvious targets, but without dehumanizing the victims. It’s an especially American kind of social comedy in the way that great good humor sometimes is used to reveal unpleasant facts instead of burying them.”