Drop Dead Gorgeous

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a 1999 American satirical mockumentary black comedy film about a small town beauty pageant, directed by Michael Patrick Jann, and starring Kirsten Dunst, Ellen Barkin, Brittany Murphy, Allison Janney, Denise Richards, Kirstie Alley, and Amy Adams in her film debut. The satirical dynamics of a Minnesota town unfold as multiple contestants in the regional American Teen Princess Pageant begin to die suspiciously.


In 1995, Mount Rose, Minnesota is preparing for the annual Sarah Rose Cosmetics Mount Rose American Teen Princess Pageant beauty pageant. Ambitious, optimistic Amber Atkins signs up to follow in the footsteps of her idol Diane Sawyer. Her mother, Annette is a former contestant. Amber works after school in the mortuary, applying makeup to corpses. They live in a small trailer near their friend Loretta. Fellow contestant Rebecca ("Becky") Leeman is the daughter of the richest man in town. His wife, Gladys Leeman is the head of the pageant organizing committee and former winner. Business connections between their furniture store and the pageant judges cause many to fear the contest will be rigged. In the days leading up to the pageant, many odd events occur around town, including contestant Tammy Curry (president of the gun club), who is killed when her tractor explodes; and then the death of a boy Becky liked, but interested in Amber, ruled a hunting accident. Amber decides to pull out after receiving a threatening note and her mother is injured in an explosion at their mobile home, but reconsiders to make her mother proud. At the dress rehearsal, fellow contestant Jenelle Betz swaps numbers with Amber. Midway through Jenelle's rehearsal performance, a stage light knocks her unconscious and renders her deaf. Luckily, Jenelle knows American sign language so she claims that despite dropping out of the pageant, she has never been happier.