The Most Influential Makeover Montages

Need to get ready in a hurry, or change up your look? Time for a montage!
So we just saw Hustlers, and do you know what stuck with us? The makeover montage where J.Lo gets Constance Wu all dressed up. Ahh, the makeover montage. Nothing turns a girl in a movie from so-so to stunning quite like a montage. You know what we’re talking about – the hero of the film needs a new look, so they take their plucky best friend to the mall. Goofy music plays, and we cut between looks as the best friend shrugs, sighs, laughs… then nods. WHAM. They did it. They found the look! See? Makeover montages change lives, and that’s why we’ve compiled the definitive makeover montage list for you!

The Devil Wears Prada

‘Now Chanel, you’re in desperate need of Chanel’, no one does Makeovers like Nigel (Stanley Tucci) and this transformation doesn’t disappoint! Andy Heads into the Runway wardrobe and lands a curated combo of designer heaven, picking and choosing from Jimmy Choo and D&G is like walking into an ice cream store and being handed the keys. 

Julia Roberts – Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman, one of the greatest films ever made (don’t argue), has call girl Vivian Ward being talked down to by snooty sales staff. The injustice! But because this film is the cinematic equivalent of a big warm hug, she gets a makeover montage, then heads back and really rubs their noses in it. Take THAT, you rich snooty idiots! No tip for you!

Sandra Bullock – Miss Congeniality

Remember what we said before, about any good makeover needing a salty and prestigious mentor to guide you and maybe provide some helping mocking along the way? In Miss Congeniality, FBI agent Gracie Hart (Bullock) has a short amount of time to pass as a Miss American contestant to stop a terrorist threat, so she needs Victor Melling (Michael Caine) to whip and wax and tweeze her into shape. Iconic.

Brittany Murphy - Clueless

Clueless is another perfect movie, and believe it or not, is a retelling of Jaune Austen’s book Emma. The makeover montage in Clueless takes place when a new girl who isn’t rich or stylish, Tai (Brittany Murphy), comes to town and Cher (Alicia Silverstone) decides it is her duty as a good Samaritan to turn Tai into an absolute hottie. Of course, the moral here is that Tai was already great before the makeover and the makeover kind of turns her into a bit of a jerk, but regardless, it’s a pretty amazing transformation.

Rachel Leigh Cook – She’s All That

This might be the most nineties film ever made. It has Rachel Leigh Cook as the nerdy arty girl who would be hot if she just took off her glasses and let her hair down. It has Freddie Prinze Jr as the jock with a heart of gold who can see her inner beauty. It has Usher as the campus DJ, and it stars Lil’ Kim, Paul Walker, Matthew Lillard, Anna Paquin… and oh boy, does the nerdy arty girl undergo the mother of all goofy transformations. 

Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things Season 3

Stranger Things, is pure eighties goodness. In the latest season, El (Millie Bobby Brown) was taken shopping for the first time after a breakup, and the show gave us this absolute treat: a superpowered teenage girl experiencing the joy of a proper 80s style makeover montage. Also, here’s a confession: we would kill for some of those clothes.

Olivia Newton John - Grease

Grease, the movie, is just one big makeover! It starts with Sandra Dee macking on with John Travolta on a beach, then she comes to his school and is an absolute stick-in-the-mud. So the Pink Ladies do it all – pierce her ears, teach her about sex, and in the end, she rocks up at the school fair dressed entirely in leather, smoking a cigarette and singing songs about how Travolta clearly wants to jump her. 

Reese Witherspoon – Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde is a classic, and does something kind of brilliant – it reverses the makeover montage! It also shows that a girl doesn’t have to get rid of her girlishness to become more powerful. It follows Elle, a sorority girl who wants to get her ex back by basically becoming a qualified lawyer. And because everyone thinks Elle is stupid, and judges her on her looks, her makeover involves her creating a look that makes her look smarter, not hotter.

Must-read articles


Which J.Lo Are You?

We’re kind of obsessed with Jennifer Lopez at the moment, and have been since… well, ever. J.Lo’s new flick Second Act shows she’s showing no signs of slowing down, but there have been so many incarnations of Jennifer Lopez. Which J.Lo are you?
Ready Player One

The return of the 80s

Dust off your old VHS tapes, the 80s have become the most influential decade in entertainment.
The Shawshank Redemption

The 10 Best Movies of All Time

What are the best movies ever made? Time to find out!

Get the latest movie updates sent directly to your inbox!

Want more from inside of Australia's biggest movie and home entertainment company? Join the crew today for news, exclusive offers and competitions.

Thanks. We'll be in touch soon.