When we’re talking about romantic comedies (and some other movies, I guess), a very popular plot device is the ugly duckling transformation. It’s where a perfectly physically gorgeous actress gets paid to look like a much uglier girl in the first half of the movie, only to turn into her real self in the final act.
And while we all might claim that real beauty is on the inside, it’s a tried and true recipe that has carried many movies in the past and will continue to do so for as long as audiences accept it. Let’s take a look at some of the movies that did the ugly duckling transformation the best.
The Princess Diaries
Well, this is the most known ugly duckling story, isn’t it? We see Mia Thermopolis evolve from a typical ugly duckling you wouldn’t look at twice into a stunning Anne Hathaway.
This somewhat ancient movie has character Loretta Castorini turn into a gorgeous woman that looks suspiciously like Cher, to woo a man that looks a lot like Nicholas Cage. That’s literally the entire plot of the movie.
Hey, it counts – it’s pretty much the original ugly duckling story. And it still holds up 70 years later, so it deserves a spot on this list.