By DYLAN GOWAN.
To start this off let’s talk about Bebo. Remember Bebo? When I was a young teenager everyone was on Bebo. Forget Facebook, Bebo was the place to be.
Now why would I start off by talking about Bebo for a film review? Valid question, but you see around the time I first saw Drop Dead Gorgeous, Bebo was going off.
The year was 2006, just when the whole social networking thing was new. It was at this point in time on one Saturday night that a movie called Drop Dead Gorgeous was playing on TV.
All the stars must have aligned this one night, because I wouldn’t normally be allowed to watch a movie like this. I was only 13, after all and my parents were fairly strict on the whole television front. And by ‘a movie like this’, I mean one that contained more ‘adult’ humour.
I know you can all relate.
Anyway, I became a bit obsessed with Drop Dead Gorgeous, in particular this one character, Hank. Hank was mentally challenged and absolutely hilarious. So much so that I made him my Bebo profile picture, I may have even changed my tag (ha, tags – I miss the old internet).
For your enjoyment, here is Hank running into a window.
Hank’s child-like behaviour and exuberance is comedic gold.
I now realise that there is so much more to Drop Dead Gorgeous, although Hank still makes me laugh every time.
Drop Dead Gorgeous stars Kirsten Dunst and follows the Sarah Rose Cosmetics Mount Rose American Teen Princess Pageant, held in the small town of Mount Rose, Minnesota. Shot in a mockumentary format, the film primarily follows Dunst’s character, Amber Atkins, who dreams of being the next Diane Sawyer and sees the pageant as her first step in getting there. The only problem is, contestants keep dying (and almost dying) in a variety of suspicious ways.
When Drop Dead Gorgeous was released in 1999, it received abysmal reviews and only pulled in $10.6 million at the box office. But since then, it has developed a bit of a cult following and it’s easy to see why: It’s just so funny.
Shooting it as a mockumentary was a great choice. The interviews with the different contestants and their parents provide some of the best laughs of the movie. Also, the objective look just makes the whole thing so much funnier.
But be warned, this is a dark comedy with a slightly off sense of humour. If you’re like me and this kind of humour is right up your alley, you will love this film. There may or may not be a sequence where a whole bunch of pageant contestants vomit from multiple levels of a hotel lobby.
It’s also very politically incorrect, as dark comedies usually are, dealing with topics like anorexia, mental disability and religion. Although it is very un-PC, it never takes cheap shots at anyone and is careful not to mock. It’s refreshing to see a movie that strikes this balance, and it is its un-PC-ness that helps make the movie what it is.
You’re also bound to love the characters and performances. One of the best is Alison Janney as Loretta. Loretta is Amber’s mother’s friend, with dark blue eye shadow, bright red lipstick and a heart of gold. This was also the first movie that Hollywood superstar Amy Adams ever starred in.
To your right is Amy making a fish face.
Drop Dead Gorgeous is one of those under-appreciated gems that more people need to see.
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