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DROP DEAD GORGEOUS

Directed by Michael Patrick Jann
Screenplay by Lona Williams
Starring Kirstie Alley, Ellen Barkin, Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards
My advice: Rental goods ONLY!
Rating: out of

I'm a big fan of satirical movies, but I require that they be clever throughout. DD Gorgeous was not that. Shame.

Opening in an effective documentary style, Drop Dead Gorgeous focuses on the town of Mount Rose, Minnesota where the God-fearing folk are making preparations for the Sarah Rose American Teen Princess Pageant. Desperate to break free of this dead end nowhere, the girls of the town see the upcoming pageant as their surefire break and hastily do everything they can to assure themselves a spot. However it seems that this year someone is taking a possible win way too seriously with deadly results.

It's clear from the onset the spoils of victory are preset for Becky Leeman (Richards). She's the daughter of the wealthiest family in town and her mother Gladys (Ally) was the pageant victor seventeen years prior. Groomed her entire life to step into the satin shoes of this family tradition, the other nine contestants don't stand a chance. The only problem is, within this group of ten we have two truly talented teens who actually have a chance of ripping that sequin encrusted crown right out of Becky's grasp.

Amber Atkins (Dunst) is the obligatory girl of limited means. Living in a trailer at the edge of town, she spends her days serving up lunch in the school cafeteria and has a nightly gig applying makeup to corpses at the local funeral home. Always one to find the silver lining, Amber sees her quiet hours with the dead in a less morbid light by utilizing the isolated time to brush up on her tap-dancing. It's her dream that she can win this contest and break free of the shackles of Mount Rose and follow in the footsteps of her idol, Diane Sawyer.

As the documentary crew follows the gals about filming the Fiftieth Anniversary pageant events, suddenly a few of the "possibles" in the pageant become "impossibles" as they are hastily removed from the equation. Add to this the sudden death of Amber's smitten beau and it appears something is rotten in Mount Rose.

This was clearly meant to be a very dark comedy and set about on a pretty good foot. However it fell from my humble graces when it plodded on clearly twenty minutes longer than needed. I found a few of the mockeries offense, but I held my ground and waded through. I did laugh, but when I found myself groaning moments later it was clear this film had missed the proper mark.

My opinion? Drop Dead Average

 

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