Drop Dead Gorgeous was one of my favorite satires in the early 2000s. Does this movie with Kirsten Dunst and Amy Adams still hold up?
In 2000, I rented (I know, right?!) a movie starring Kirsten Dunst and Kirstie Alley called Drop Dead Gorgeous. The mockumentary-style satire follows small-town beauty pageant contestants preparing for their big night. I loved this film when I first saw it back in the day; the question is, does it still hold up?
As usual, I feel strangely obligated to remind you that there could be light spoilers below. But also ask, can you have spoilers for a movie from 1999?
So, let’s get right to the point, does Drop Dead Gorgeous hold-up? Well… not exactly. There are great scenes, characters, and storylines, but this time I was over it about halfway through. But there are still some really great elements, starting with the cast. Kirsten Dunst is brilliant as the optimistic happy-go-lucky main character, but it’s the supporting cast that makes the film great. From Kirstie Alley, Ellen Barkin, and Allison Janney to Amy Adams, Brittany Murphy, Denise Richards, and Mandy Sterling, the movie is packed with talent in every scene. The film hinges on the characters, not the plot, and the stellar cast will motivate you to watch until the very end.
Drop Dead Gorgeous begins with introducing former beauty queen Gladys Leeman (Kirstie Alley) as she runs a small-town pageant where her daughter is the likely front-runner. And as expected, Gladys will rig the contest; however, she needs to get her daughter the win. As other front runners pop up, weird accidents and deaths begin to occur. But make no mistake, this is not a horror or even focused on the deaths; this is a satirical comedy taking aim at the ridiculousness of pageants.
I can’t strongly recommend Drop Dead Gorgeous, but if it still piques your interest, I say go for it. There were hilarious moments and a few first-rate characters (I’d watch Ellen Barkin or Allison Janney in almost anything, no matter how big or small the role). But unless you have plenty of time to revisit movies from the past, maybe skip over this one.