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"Drop Dead Gorgeous": A Movie Review


Blurb:  The United States' oldest annual beauty pageant in small-town Mount Rose, Minnesota, turns ridiculously competitive as local girls prepare for the big day, leading to all kinds of bizarre incidents occur, ultimately ending with a bang!


Kirsten Dunst

Kirstie Alley

Allison Janney

Ellen Barkin

Amy Adams

Brittany Murphy

Denise Richards

Mindy Sterling

Directed by:  

Michael Patrick Jann

Written by: 

Lona Williams


"And that's why we Lutherans use grape Kool-Aid for the blood of Christ."

I started laughing before the credits were even done...!

I've been watching watching Oscar nominees and nearly nothing else. Meanwhile, sitting on the edge of the coffee table closest to me was a movie my dear friend so we bought for me and has been patiently waiting for me to watch.

Tired of Oscar nominees, I figured this was a good day to watch Drop Dead Gorgeous. I am so glad I did!

The movie is exclusively told through interviews and footage from the mockumentary, what might almost be described as a "lost footage" except for the fact that it wasn't lost. What really impressed me was the story was so well told, even though it was all filmed footage of one kind or another and never felt forced! Better in that aspect that Blair Witch Project (either version!).

It's real and so over-the-top hilarious at the same time. Kirstie Alley was a scream as Gladys Leeman, the small-town Karen. previous winner of the pageant in some far-off time, and the mother of one of this year's contestants, whom she is determined will win one was or another. Her comic timing was the best I've ever seen her do. Kristen Dunst and a young Amy Allan were amazing as two more of the contestants, either of which we would much rather see as the winner.

This movie is filled to the brim and overflowing with some of the best lines I've ever seen and I never stopped laughing. An example, when Lisa Swensen (flawlessly played by Brittany Murphy) is asked why she's a contestant, she replies in all seriousness, "Well, ah, it's kind of like askin' why all the guys chew Copenhagen, you know? I mean - If you're seventeen, and you're not a total fry, it's just what you do."

Truly, this movie is almost impossible to review without spoiling the plot, that rolls around and along and through wonderful quotable gems like....

“I was Mount Rose American Teen Princess 1945. We were at war with the Japs. Didn't even get to keep my damn tiara. Had to turn it in for scrap.”

“With one week to go before the pageant, I was finishing my outfit, rehearsing my talent, brushing up on current events, and running 18 miles a day on about 400 calories. I was ready.”

"I don't eat shellfish. Mom always says, 'Don't ever eat nothin' that can carry its house around with it. Who knows the last time it's been cleaned?'"

“I am reaching the point where I would kill someone for the nicotine under their fingernails.”

"Do you think a nice cool mint would help if I shoved your head up your ass?”

And after being asked, during the contest, "If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" she replies, “I'd have good strong roots in a town like Mt. Rose, a solid Christian trunk, and long, leafy branches to provide shade for handicapped kids on a hot summer day.”

And so many stars! A bunch that I couldn't tell if they were cameos or simply actors at the very, very beginnings of their careers, such as Missi Pyle who you may remember as the mother of Violet Beauregarde in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Laliari, one of the aliens in Galaxy Quest.

Every actor was top-notch, every line delivered to its best, no one missed their beat, and all had terrific comic timing.

How did I not know about this movie? How come I'd never seen it before? And to Zoe, what did this take me so long to watch after you sent it? Apologies! You were right!

And I have a new favorite comedy to add to my short list!

BEN'S RATING:  ☕☕☕☕☕☕ X X X


Warning: The following is a complete synopsis of the movie. It's nothing but spoilers. Read at your own risk!

In 1995, the small, conservative town of Mount Rose, Minnesota, is preparing for the annual Sarah Rose Cosmetics American Teen Princess Pageant. A film crew is in town to document the pageant and its lead-up. One of the interviewees is 17-year old Amber Atkins, who signs up for the pageant in the hopes of winning a college scholarship and following in the footsteps of her idol Diane Sawyer.


Among the other contestants are Rebecca ("Becky") Leeman, the daughter of the richest man in town. Becky's mother Gladys is the head of the pageant organizing committee and a former winner. Because of the business connections between the Leemans' furniture store and the pageant judges, many fear the contest will be rigged. In the days leading up to the pageant, many odd events occur around town, such as contestant Tammy Curry being killed when her threshing machine explodes, and the death of a boy Becky liked who was interested in Amber, which is ruled as a hunting accident. Amber considers dropping out when her mother Annette’s trailer explodes but remains in the competition to make her mother proud. At the dress rehearsal, a stage light knocks out contestant Jenelle Betz and renders her deaf.


On the night of the pageant, Amber's dance costume disappears. She accuses Becky of stealing it and they have a catfight backstage. Pageant choreographer Chloris Klinghagen gives Amber a new costume; however, organizer Iris Clark says she can't perform as the new costume was not approved weeks ago. Amber's fellow contestant, Lisa Swenson, takes pity on her and drops out to give her an approved costume. Amber is able to perform her tap dance number and receives a standing ovation. For her performance, Becky sings "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" while dancing with a life-sized Jesus doll on a crucifix, which amuses and horrifies the audience.


The pageant announces the winners: cheerleader Leslie Miller is second runner-up, Amber is first runner-up, and Becky wins. During Becky's victory parade the next day, she is killed in a freak accident when her elaborate swan float bursts into flames and explodes. A grief-stricken Gladys flies into a blind rage, admitting to being responsible for all the shenanigans, and is immediately arrested. Amber is crowned the new pageant winner. At the state competition, Amber wins the title by default after the other contestants get food poisoning. She receives an all-expenses-paid trip to the national pageant as a prize, but upon arrival, she and the other state winners are devastated to find that Sarah Rose Cosmetics was shut down for tax evasion, meaning there will be no national pageant. This sends all the contestants except Amber into a rage-fueled rampage where they vandalize the company’s property.


A few years later, Gladys escapes from prison and becomes involved in a police standoff at the Mount Rose supermarket, declaring her intent to take revenge on Amber. During the six-hour standoff, a television reporter at the scene is hit by a stray bullet. Amber quickly picks up the microphone and takes over to report the story, impressing the news station with her poise and confidence. Amber becomes co-anchor of the evening news for Minneapolis–St. Paul WAZB-TV, thus fulfilling her dream of possibly becoming the next Diane Sawyer.*


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2 comentários

An incredible cast and so witty.

B.g. Thomas
B.g. Thomas
22 de fev.
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