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Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

Satire can be a tricky mistress. It’s like a flower, you have to water it just right. Too much and it dies, too little and it dies. So if you fail to do it just right it can become a catastrophe. Drop Dead Gorgeous flirts with disaster but comes out of nowhere to become one of the funniest and dead-on movies of the summer.

The mock documentary unspools its tale of a Midwestern beauty pageant and all the action behind the scenes of small town life. The story is rich in eccentric and hilarious characters that seem to be delved straight out of the Coen brothers’ twisted imagination. Much of the humor is subtle but still very funny. Some people have said it’s too mean spirited, but all they do is poke fun at mentally handicapped people, physically handicapped people, anorexic and bulimics, pedophiles, gun owners, religious fanatics, high school cheerleaders, dog lovers, lesbians, tomboys, stage mothers, trailer park families, farmers, the deaf, police officers, news reporters, beauty queens, Asian-American families with the American dream, the deceased, sexual harassment, swans, and a world of other lampooning I’ve failed to pen.

In the grand tradition of Fargo the Minnesota accent here is thicker than your grandmother’s jam. The movie does lose a little steam toward the end 10-15 minutes that could’ve been trimmed, but I still readily enjoyed the movie. A complete surprise for myself. If you like your comedies as black as your coffee then check this one out.

Nate’s Grade: B+

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