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Drop Dead Gorgeous

Jesus loves winners!

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a mockumentary about a beauty pageant in a small town in Minnesota. Because of the subject matter, the cast is almost exclusively female, and I think it’s one of the best female-led comedies of the 90’s.

The main character is Amber, who wants to win the pageant to help her get out of a dead end life in this small town. She lives with her chain smoking mom in a trailer, she’s super nice, and she’s a talented tap dancer. She is totes going to nail this shit, right? WRONG. The head of the pageant committee’s daughter has also entered, and…strange things happen. Exploding threshers, exploding trailers, stray bullets to the head. Anyone who crosses Becky is eliminated, the judges are clearly paid off, and her family is the richest family in town. But is that enough to get her to the state pageant? We’ll see!

Besides being incredibly quotable (“Mom still cries whenever she sees a tilt-a-whirl or a fat lady in a tube top.”), and having some really bizarre moments like a dramatic monlogue from Soylent Green or Becky (badly) singing and dancing with a blow up Jesus on a cross, I think the best part of Drop Dead Gorgeous is that there are so. Many. Funny. Women.

Kirsten Dunst (Spiderman, Bring It On) and Denise Richards (Starship Troopers, Wild Things) are fine as the leads, but they are outshined by the three duos of adult women in the movie. Ellen Barkin (The New Normal, This Boy’s Life) and Allison Janney (The West Wing, Juno) are Amber’s mom and her best friend, and they are hilarious. The best part of the pageant is every shot of them in the audience. Kirstie Alley (Cheers, Look Who’s Talking) plays Becky’s mom and Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers) is her lackey/verbal punching bag. And finally, Nora Dunn (SNL) and Mo Gaffney (That 70’s Show, The Kathy & Mo Show) have a few minutes as the ladies in charge of the state pageant. And of course, Brittany Murphy (Clueless, King of the Hill) is awesome. I’m sure i’m not alone when I say GOD DAMMIT WHY ARE YOU DEAD YOU WERE SO FUNNY AND SO AWESOME. Oh and some girl named Amy Adams who is now super famous got her movie career kicked off here.

And now onto the menu! The first thing I did was google ‘vegan lutefisk‘. You have fun with that.

Appetizer: One great thing about being vegan is that you never have to worry about food poisoning from undercooked shellfish. We could win every beauty pageant with a seafood bar! I know not a lot of people have access to vegan versions of seafood, but I bet this shrimp cocktail would still be good with this fish flavored seitan.
Entree: With all of the funerals and church potlucks going on, you need a casserole. Or as they call it in Minnesota, a ‘Hot Dish‘. A looser recipe with more of an explanation can be found here.
Dessert: Gladys may have had her faults, but apparently she could solve world hunger with a rhubarb pie.

posted: 12 October 11
under: 90s, comedy, teen

15 Responses to “Drop Dead Gorgeous”

  1. Jojo says:

    I’d totally forgotten about this movie! I think it needs a re-watch soon!

  2. Cadry says:

    How have I missed this movie? It sounds hilarious! I’ve got to check it out.

  3. Candy Beans says:

    I’ve never seen this either, but I’ll check it out. Thanks! Lutefisk, even a vegan version, makes me think of King of the Hill – another show that was graced Brittany Murphy,.

  4. Megan says:

    Oh my god that was Amy Adams!! I thought she looked familiar.

    Love that you did this film, it is one of my favorites. I used to carry the soundtrack in my walkman (HA!) all over the place in HS. 🙂

  5. moonsword says:

    Love this movie, especially watching with my MN cousins! Believe it or not I have googled vegan lutefisk, and ohgoodgolly those lutefiskers are an fanatical bunch! Scareingly amazing how much they can eat of the stuff at their yearly lutefisk eating championships. Yes, they live exciting lives, those lutefiskers. Vegan lutefisk just didn’t work for me though…blech!
    Thanks for the links! A hash brown hot dish is just what I’m wantin’ right now. 🙂

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