22/12/2010

Forgotten Gem: Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)


In recent years the mockumentary style of film making has become so common that even makers of real documentaries constantly have to bat off accusations of fakery but there's no doubt which category Michael Patrick Jann's black comedy about a beauty pageant in Mount Rose, Minnesota falls into. Que lots of jokes about hicks, perverts and trailer parks.


To be honest, it's not that hard to crack jokes about people who come from those kind of hick towns and deem it appropriate to put their children in those soul destroying pageants that send out all the wrong messages and although not every gag lands, most of it is so sharp and delivered at such a dizzying rate. The entire cast is made up of recognisable female faces (especially Amy Adams, in her first film role) and each of them give a great performance. Kirsty Alley, Ellen Barkin and the amazing Alison Janney all show the kids how it's done and at times, it's sad to look at a young Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards and Brittany Murphy knowing how they've turned out. Did I just compare Dunst's and Richards' career to Brittany Murphy's sad and premature death? Oh dear. Sometimes I disgust myself.