Drop Dead Gorgeous

Drop Dead Gorgeous Image
Metascore
28

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 80 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A wickedly colorful, twisted comedy, Drop Dead Gorgeous probes the heart of a small Minnesota town where a fictional teen beauty pageant has unleashed a fury of very unladylike behavior. (New Line Cinema)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 28
  2. Negative: 16 out of 28
  1. So genuinely, viciously funny you can't help laughing -- even when you feel really bad about yourself for doing so.
  2. 63
    Although the satire is biting and the tone is irreverent, Drop Dead Gorgeous lacks the killer script and top notch performances necessary to make this a wholly successful production.
  3. The script starts repeating its best gags about halfway through, and the direction gets ever broader as it goes along until the film finally loses all effectiveness as satire.
  4. 30
    The film means to be a darkly funny look at the perils of winning at all costs, but there's nothing dark and searching about its take.
  5. A cheap cut-glass tiara of a booby prize goes to Drop Dead Gorgeous for messing up so utterly.
  6. 20
    It's like a cross between "Heathers" and "Waiting For Guffman," had those movies been made by morons, for morons, and the cinematic equivalent of cow-tipping, only less graceful.
  7. 0
    This biting parody of flyover-state beauty contests feels like a bad made-for-TV movie of the week.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. bethstahler
    Mar 12, 2006
    10
    Totally awesome....I almost wet my pants.
  2. SteveK.
    Nov 26, 2005
    10
    This is a genuinely unique and funny movie. Rarely does a story line just let loose and go for the gold ring - okay, maybe a rubber ring in This is a genuinely unique and funny movie. Rarely does a story line just let loose and go for the gold ring - okay, maybe a rubber ring in this case. But like other outrageous movies that have enjoyed great love from their fans, this one is stays on it's satirical theme on every level. From personal relationships, corporate advertising, eco-socio status - they rip it all up, with unique flair and intenstity. A gread movie! Expand
  3. Jan 26, 2016
    9
    A brilliant comedic gem disguised (much too well for its own good) as a generic, throwaway teen comedy. So tragically underrated, but here'sA brilliant comedic gem disguised (much too well for its own good) as a generic, throwaway teen comedy. So tragically underrated, but here's why, I think: Crude, lowbrow humor, and buffoonish, one-dimensional characters were glaringly off-putting to seasoned film critics at the time of the film's 1999 release. It's understandable, given that the nature of the job is to call out unsophisticated work, but unfortunately, that meant missing out on the layers of wicked, biting dark comedy that less-discerning audiences enjoyed right alongside "cheap laughs" guaranteed to make a seasoned critic wince. But upon repeated viewing, the "cheap laughs" (raunchy gross-out humor, VERY un-p.c. jokes from very un-p.c, closed-minded, small-town characters), reveal themselves to not be so "cheap" at all -- in fact, they set the scene for hundreds of weirdly funny, subtle moments of character development and spot-on background details that are easy to miss the first, or even second time around, sandwiched somewhere between the big punchlines. A critic who is unable to check pretension at the door to get past the seemingly "poor taste" of the film would likely never like the characters enough to notice the richness of the trashy, lowbrow, incredibly tasteless world they exist in...and which their dialogue reflects. The film excels at "exploiting" the "documentary subjects" and their lack of grace in front of the camera, especially in the vulnerable moments, ever-present in real documentaries, where the subject, waiting for a follow up question or feeling the need to fill the unending seconds of silence, reveals just a little too much.

    Had marketing execs not tried to pit DDG against the other, more polished and typical teen comedies of the late '90s -- the ones about sex, makeovers, drinking/drugs, making oneself over until reaching the intended social status -- perhaps DDG would have understood its strengths as a niche film, or found an audience with a more nuanced sense of humor, the ones that appreciate a high school movie that's not really about high school at all. A film written by a woman that passes the Bedchel test with flying colors. Perhaps they wouldn't have left Allison Janney, who steals every scene as Ellen Barken's wise-cracking, sexed-up best friend, off of the poster and promotional products.

    For me, a girl not edgy enough for Heathers, completely unaware of the notion of being "too cool" for a typical blockbuster teen flick, the film had all the appeal of any other lighthearted comedy -- tacky pageant dances, slapstick humor, totally out-of-touch adults -- so much that I did not notice the (now obvious) darkness of the story at age 13, 14, 15. I enjoyed the silliness and quotable one-liners. As an adult with a broad taste in film, I can now see that a story about a desperate teenager whose only glimmer of hope of escaping an exceptionally dismal future of generational poverty lies in risking her life for a chance to achieve a depressingly meaningless "victory," is, well...it's some dark stuff...but remain amazed that it doesn't need to make the film any less comedic. We laugh at misfortune, misplaced anger, violent death. DDG, for me, served as a sneaky introduction to black comedy, probably because no one told me what that was.

    Is it perfect? No way. But it's an all-time favorite. Excellent, early performances from recognized star actors, memorable script, enduring appeal, and lines to quote for decades to come.
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  4. Paul
    Oct 10, 2005
    8
    Even though it is now 6 years old this film is still bitingly funny. Ignore the critics reviews and judge for yourself. You will find Even though it is now 6 years old this film is still bitingly funny. Ignore the critics reviews and judge for yourself. You will find yourself chuckling all they way! Expand
  5. Aug 19, 2014
    8
    I didn't see this when it was released, but it's now on Starz, and all I can say is it is very funny--with some terrific comic performances byI didn't see this when it was released, but it's now on Starz, and all I can say is it is very funny--with some terrific comic performances by a raft of very talented actresses. I really don't get all the negative reviews here, which I find puzzling. The script is very sharply written in the mockumentary style, and while its not perfect, it does deftly skewer small-town life and the value we place on beauty competitions. But it also has warmth along with its wit. Hey, it's fun to watch and will make you laugh; Allison Janney and Ellen Barkin are a riot together.

    Just start watching. You'll get hooked like I was.

    I wonder if it came out today that might get better reviews.
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  6. WilliamW.
    Sep 9, 2005
    7
    Underrated. The reception of this movie is a perfect example of how less-than-bright, thin-skinned, lily-livered critics destroy perfectly Underrated. The reception of this movie is a perfect example of how less-than-bright, thin-skinned, lily-livered critics destroy perfectly enjoyable movies because they don't like people being "mean" or because the characters aren't "likable." This film is careful to establish its tone from the beginning and never backs down from it: it is viciously satirical, but it is viciously satirical from start to finish without ever backing down. And still it manages to have poignant moments--due mostly to great acting, especially from Barken, Janney and Alley. A thoroughly enjoyable and hilarious film--I'm just sorry I had to wait til it ended up in a box of VHS tapes a friend was selling in a garage sale before I saw it. Expand
  7. Jun 21, 2012
    7
    Let's be clear right from the start: Drop Dead Gorgeous is not a masterpiece. However, it is not as bad as the critics painted it to be,Let's be clear right from the start: Drop Dead Gorgeous is not a masterpiece. However, it is not as bad as the critics painted it to be, either. It is actually one of the more funny comedies that are actually intelligently written and superbly acted. As someone who's lived in the Midwest (Minnesota, actually) for four years for my undergraduate, I can testify that the depiction of Minnesota and Minnesotans is rather accurate. Whether most Minnesotans would agree or be ashamed to be associated with it, is another thing. But yes, this film is extremely entertaining and it provides for tons of laughs all throughout the film. Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney give such great comedic performances, I was screaming out loud laughing. Dust is decent, but Kirstie Alley is just superb. Overall, the acting is very good, with a well-written, funny and engaging screenplay. The ending however, is a bit of a let-down, to be honest, but most of the time the film is good and keeps the audience's attention. Obviously, is it is rather campy, over the top type of comedy, but where most comedies like that fail, DDG thrives and manages to outshine more "serious", critically-acclaimed comedies. Highly recommended, especially if you are from Minnesota! Love it! Expand

See all 22 User Reviews

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