Welcome to A-Z Movie Reviews. Every Sunday, for the next several months, I will be posting a review of a film in my home movie collection. How it works is, I will be reviewing movies in alphabetical order until I get to the letter Z (Yes, I do have a film that ends in Z). Now I realize there are many ways to alphabetize a film collection, but this is mine so don’t judge me. This is simply for fun.
I don’t ever remember wanting to be in a pageant when I was growing up. Sure, I knew lots of girls who were into that sort of thing but not me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a girl and doing girly things but when I was a kid, putting on some frilly dress and makeup was not my idea of a fun time. This week’s film for A-Z Movie Reviews is Drop Dead Gorgeous and it’s a reminder of why I never wanted to do one.
What it’s about:
A small-town beauty pageant turns deadly as it becomes clear that someone will go to any lengths to win.
Okay, now I get it, beauty pageants are not quite this dramatic but still. Competition leads people to do some pretty serious things and the desire to win can make people a little nutty.
The films setting is a small town in Minnesota and one of the highlights of their town is the Sarah Rose Cosmetics American Teen Princess Pageant. The girls entering the pageant have big dreams because a win can change their lives forever. Amber Atkins (Kirsten Dunst), one of the contestants, has dreams of winning to get out of the trailer park she and her mom Annette (Ellen Barkin) are living in.
Then, we have the rich family which is the Leeman’s; Gladys (Kirstie Alley), Lester (Sam McMurray), and their daughter Rebecca (Denise Richards). All three of them are one of those holier than thou gun-toting families who use a lot of racist language. They think they’re better than everyone and Gladys is just so sure her daughter Rebecca should be the next Sarah Rose Cosmetics American Teen Princess because she herself won when she was a teenager.
The town is pretty tired of the Leeman’s and want Amber to win because she is really what represents what their little town stands for. She’s sweet and kind-hearted everything the Leeman’s certainly are not. While she’s facing the pressure of the pageant, Amber is also feeling very unsettled because contestants keep ending up either dead, or seriously injured as they get closer to the event.
What I really like about this film is that it’s done somewhat like a documentary. There’s a film crew that has come to the town to capture all of the young ladies journeys at the pageant. The camera angles don’t always necessarily make it look like a documentary but, certain aspects of the film remind you that it is.
Drop Dead Gorgeous is a little campy but it’s still a fun film despite some things I look at now and think are a tad inappropriate. It’s interesting thinking of the language that people freely used years ago. Half of the things that were said would not fly nowadays. Kirsten Dunst is really the saving grace in this film because the whole time you watch, you’re rooting for her.
- It’s fun to look back at these films and see actors that I wasn’t familiar with at the time like Amy Adams, and Allison Janney who I now know.
- I just noticed that a firefighter was smoking at the scene of an explosion…
- The cops are really bad at solving crimes in Mount Rose.
- Lisa (Brittany Murphy) will always be a real one especially for giving her costume to Amber.
- Watching this movie made me miss Brittany Murphy all over again.
- The irony of Rebecca dying after her float blew up when her mom was getting rid of competition by doing that very thing.
- The scene when all the pageant contestants get food poisoning is still gross and now that I think about it, it’s the first one I had ever seen before Bridesmaids even existed.