Drop Dead Gorgeous [DVD]
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Kirsten Dunst and Denise Richards star in this black comedy about America's obsession with beauty. In small-town Minnesota, teenage girls Amber (Dunst) and Becky (Richards) become rivals after they both enter a local beauty pageant. Amber is the homely daughter of beer-swilling Annette (Ellen Barkin) while Becky is the spoiled daughter of wealthy socialite, and former pageant winner, Gladys (Kirstie Alley). Both want to win, and as their rivalry grows, the bodies of their opponents begin to pile up with murderous regularity.
Subtle is not the word to describe Drop Dead Gorgeous, a mock documentary purporting to cover the Sarah Rose Cosmetics Teen America Beauty Pageant in Mount Rose, Minnesota. Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love) and Kirsten Dunst (Interview with a Vampire, Dick) are perfectly cast as a mother and daughter whose only ambition is to use the pageant to get out of their claustrophobic small-town lives. Opposing them are Denise Richards (Wild Things, Starship Troopers) and her mother, Kirstie Alley (Look Who's Talking), who just happens to be the pageant's organizer. The plot, which centres on contestants being murdered (mostly by flaming explosions), is clearly secondary to the backstage shenanigans and satirical portrayals of vanity, small-town corruption, and family dysfunction. There's not much suspense to the pageant itself, but Dunst is an endearing protagonist and along with the broad jokes are some excellent acting turns from the cast, particularly Barkin, Brittany Murphy (Clueless), Nora Dunn (a Saturday Night Live alumna), and the great character actress Allison Janney, who's played small roles in countless movies but finally gets a chance to shine as the supportive neighbour of Barkin and Dunst. In fact, for all the jokes and satirical jabs, in the end it's the characters' relationships that stay in your mind. As an added bonus, the soundtrack features a hard-rocking version of the theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, performed with cool aplomb by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. --Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com --This text refers to the VHS edition of this video --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
true black comedy, it makes an amazing companion piece to "best in show." i could watch the both of them back to back no matter my mood. it's really well written, superbly acted, and just all around hilarious.
in fact, i would go so far as to say it's the *most smartest* mockumentary i've ever seen.
In 1995, Mount Rose, Minnesota is preparing for its annual beauty pageant. Gladys Leeman (Kirstie Alley), the main organiser of the pageant will stop at NOTHING in order to make certain that her daughter Rebecca (Denise Richards) wins. She also doesn't want Amber Atkins (Kirsten Dunst), daughter of her former nemesis Annette (Ellen Barkin), to win anything. But is she actually willing to commit murder?
The general idea for this film was great and a lot of talent was gathered, as other than the four actresses already mentioned we have here Brittany Murphy and Amy Adams (in one of her first roles). I was thrilled to see a comic study of small towns gossips, feuds and even hatreds coming to a boiling point during a beauty contest. But after the first ten minutes which are actually good, the film stops being funny - at least as far as my taste is concerned.
The reason why for me this thing didn't work is that the director, rather than making a satire, abandoned himself to the pure HATRED. And this HATRED is directed not only against the people the scenario designed as villains, but against this whole little American town in general. The more we go into the film, the more this sheer HATRED becomes disturbing. People in this little town are shown as being evil because they respect the flag, they go to church, they own guns, they are married and have children and, the worse crime of it all - they are almost all white and so appallingly heterosexual... Gosh, how disgusting - let's then spill as much venom on them as possible.
I must also say that this film seems to be a kind of copy (remake?Read more ›
It is a black comedy which centers around who will win this pageant. As it is a mock documentary, the camera enters into the lives of the front runners. It is a very funny spoof and a great parody of beauty pageants. As the pageant draws near, the front runners begin experiencing a series of calamities, and the body count begins to rise. It is totally irreverent and, at times, quite funny. Denise Richards' talent segment, in particular, is a riot.
Who will win this pageant? Watch the film and find out. You will not be disapoointed. You may even be surprised.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good quality DVD good movie for the first half although the ending was a bit dull .Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Hilarious mockumentary movie. Not at all what you would expect. Some excellent actors feature and it is good to see Kirsten Dunst in a comedic role such as this.Published 1 month ago by Mrs W
I remember rent this on when it came out. I had never heard of it because I was so young but I watched it with my mum and laughed all the way through it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ellen B. Smith
bought for my fiancee for anniversary present. she likes quirky, indie films and this one has a lot of actors she loves. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Raychul Beaty
Replacement for an old favourite. Great movie,for those with the right sense of humour..Published 8 months ago by Val Rutherford
This DVD arrived on time and was super super cheap I couldn't believe it. It was also in great condition. I watched the DVD and it worked well. No scratches or defects. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Eleanor Genevier
It's a wonderful premise, and a fabulous cast - but the script is just too, er, "American". Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mr. M. Poole