Drop Dead Gorgeous

Synopsis: An annual beauty pageant in small-town Minnesota turns ridiculously competitive and ultimately chaotic in this biting comedy. Amber Atkins (Kirsten Dunst), the daughter of hard-drinking mom Annette (Ellen Barkin), and Becky Leeman (Denise Richards), who is motivated by her former beauty-queen mother, Gladys (Kirstie Alley), are among the top contenders in the event. As Amber, Becky, and other local girls prepare for the big day, bizarre incidents occur, leading up to an ending with a bang.
Production: New Line Cinema.
  2 wins & 2 nominations.
 
IMDB:
6.6
Metacritic:
28
Rotten Tomatoes:
44%
PG-13
Year:
1999
97 min
Website
1,459 Views


FADE IN:

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - MINNESOTA - DAY

Vintage black and white stock footage of some farms and

farmhouses.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

Color footage of cotton fields passing by. We FREEZE and

FADE TO BLACK.

TITLE WIPES IN:

1995 MARKED THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY

OF THE NATION'S OLDEST BEAUTY CONTEST...

THE SARAH ROSE COSMETICS AMERICAN TEEN PRINCESS PAGEANT

A DOCUMENTARY FILM CREW WAS SENT TO

A SMALL TOWN IN MINNESOTA

TO COMMEMORATE THIS OCCASSION.

INT. PAGEANT AUDITORIUM - MOUNT ROSE - DAY

Vintage blue-toned stock footage of a teenage beauty

pageant contestant. LEGS WIPE IN.

MALE PAGEANT ANNOUNCER (O.S.)

Sarah Rose knows you're a beautiful

person....

Blue-toned stock footage of a long row of beauty pageant

contestants on stage.

MALE PAGEANT ANNOUNCER (cont'd)

Sarah Rose knows you have an unusual

talent. Sarah Rose knows you're a

teenage girl.

Blue-toned stock footage of the row of contestants

parading down some steps from the stage as CAMERA TILTS

DOWN.

MALE PAGEANT ANNOUNCER (cont'd)

Mmm, and she definitely knows that you

are ready for the ultimate teen

glamour.

ROUSING PATRIOTIC MUSIC. FAST PACED CUTS feature SMILING

TEENAGE CONTESTANTS dancing and waving American flags.

APPLAUSE!

MALE PAGEANT ANNOUNCER

(cont'd)

The American Teen Princess Pageant.

Each contestant wears a BANNER ACROSS her dress reading:

AMERICAN TEEN PRINCESS.

MALE PAGEANT ANNOUNCER (cont'd)

And now, a few words...

ANGLE ON:

Contestants DROP, ROLL and form a STAR. CHEERS!

MALE PAGEANT ANNOUNCER (cont'd)

...from last year's host, Mr. Adam

West.

ADAM WEST:

The American Teen Princess Pageant has

been enriching the lives of American-

made girls since 1945.

TITLES FADE ON SCREEN: Adam West, TV's Batman, then FADE

OUT.

ADAM WEST (cont'd)

The American Teen Princess Pageant

provides personal growth, scholarship,

travel, and you...

Numerous contestants stand up in SHOT and SURROUND ADAM.

ADAM WEST (cont'd)

...might even meet a few celebrities.

At the national level, thousands of

seventeen year-old girls like

yourselves. and compete around the

country in places like:

MALE PAGEANT ANNOUNCER

(O.S.)

Beautiful Mount Rose, Minnesota.

ADAM WEST:

And make it all the way here to

Lincoln, Alabama, to compete for the

title of American Teen Princess.

LIGHTS come UP on the teenaged girls in the pageant as

they pause. As they WAVE AMERICAN FLAGS. Adam West

turns back to the camera.

ADAM WEST (cont'd)

And now, a few words from last year's

host, Mr. Adam West.

Contestants strike a pose around him. THUNDEROUS CANNED

APPLAUSE!

ADAM WEST (cont'd)

(pointing to camera)

So, which one of you will it b--

SCREEN SUDDENLY STATIC.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - DAY

SCENE from "DAYS OF OUR LIVES"

PULL BACK to reveal the VIDEO is on a TV in front of a

GROUP OF SEVENTEEN YEAR-OLD GIRLS, sitting in gym

bleachers.

[NOTE:
The film is shot documentary style. PEOPLE ARE

REAL. Their lives revolve around this pageant. All

speak with a THICK MINNESOTA ACCENT.]

THREE "CIVIL SERVETTES," the local women's group.

[Picture unattractive Stepford Wives in matching

windbreakers] stand beside GLADYS LEEMAN, 34, president.

She STOPS THE VIDEO.

GLADYS LEEMAN:

Good God, Iris, you taped your shows

over it.

IRIS:

Sorry.

Gladys turns to the GIRLS in the bleachers.

SUPER:
MOUNT ROSE, MINNESOTA POPULATION: 5,076

GLADYS LEEMAN:

Now ladies, the rest of the tape -

which is now gone forever - goes on

about startin' this great American

journey we call American Teen

Princess...Yah-so, any of you young

ladies who'd like to start on that

journey, you just come right down here

and sign up. And please...help

yourselves to some coffee and bars...

SMASH EDIT TO:

Gladys seated with middle-aged women.

GLADYS:

Showtime.

SUPER:
GLADYS LEEMAN, LOCAL CHAIRMAN, PAGEANT ORGANIZING

COMMITTEE.

DOCUMENTARIAN (O.S.)

Do you think that most people would

say that teenage beauty pageants are a

good idea?

GLADYS:

Oh yah-sure, I know what some of your

big city, no bra wearin', hairy-legged

women's libbers say, "Pageants are old-

fashioned" and, uh, and "demeaning" to

the girls --

IRIS:

(jumping in)

What's sick is women dressin' like

men!

Civil Servettes stare at her a beat.

GLADYS:

Uh... You betcha, Iris.

(quickly, back to camera)

Yah-I think yous boys'll find that

things are different here in Mount

Rose...

Civil Servettes AD-LIB AGREEMENT.

GLADYS (cont'd)

For one thing, y'know, we're God

fearin' folk - every last one of us...

Civil Servettes AD-LIB AGREEMENT.

GLADYS (cont'd)

You won't find a back room in our

video store...

Servettes AD-LIB "AMEN. YAH-YOU BETCHA." etc.

GLADYS (cont'd) (V.O.)

...that filth is better left in the

"Sin Cities."

IRIS:

A.k.a. Minneapolis - St. Paul.

PULL AWAY from MINNEAPOLIS SKYLINE to COUNTRYSIDE.

EXT. QUAINT MAIN STREET

The camera drives down the street.

EXT. PICTURESQUE MIDDLE-CLASS NEIGHBORHOODS

The camera drives down the street.

EXT. SUBURBAN HOUSE

A HAPPY FAMILY raises the AMERICAN FLAG.

EXT. SUBURBAN DRIVEWAY

BURLY GUYS look up from washing a FORD TRUCK.

EXT. TRAILER PARK

Sign next to it reads: "Welcome to Mount Rose, Home of

Freda Klinghagen, Minnesota's Oldest Living Lutheran"

complete with a photo of the extremely old woman smiling

and waving.

EXT. CREW VAN

An ELDERLY COUPLE looks in the passenger window of the

van.

ELDERLY MAN (MAYOR)

Oh, yah-sure, Freda, yah. She was the

oldest livin' Lutheran. Now she's

dead as a doornail. It's them damn

Shriners who ain't taken that Goddamn

sign down yet - those lazy sons-a-

b*tches...

I tells kem, I tells kem every goddamn

year, "Take the Goddamn Freda sign

down, you lazy sons-a-b*tches!"

SUPER:
MAYOR OF MOUNT ROSE

INT. GLADYS' VAN - DAY

Through the window a family waves to Gladys.

EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

Two BOYS play basketball in the driveway of their home.

EXT. FRONT LAWN - DAY

SMALL CHILDREN in bathing suits play on a lawn. A boy

shoots his water pistol.

INT. LEEMAN STATION WAGON - AFTERNOON

Civil Servettes and crew are piled in. Gladys drives.

GLADYS:

...Today's "To Do" list includes a

trip to the Mall of America. We need

outfits for the "Physical Fitness"

number --

IRIS:

Nothin' too showy!

GLADYS:

Y'betcha, Iris. We still need a third

judge and we need to think of a theme.

Servettes react with pleasure.

IRIS:

Gladys -- Gladys! Look out!

A CAR SWERVES.

GLADYS:

Oh, my!

(waving out window)

Hello, Father Donigan! Sidewalks,

sidewalks?

Iris mimes drinking, "glug, glug."

GLADYS (cont'd)

Iris, stop!

(to camera)

It's not his fault. The communal wine

just proves too temptin' for some of

them.

IRIS:

That's why we Lutherans use grape

Koolaid for the blood of Christ.

EXT. MALL OF AMERICA

In the vast, already full parking lot, we see Gladys

Leeman's station wagon searching for a parking spot.

IRIS:

Oh, there's a parking space over

there. Oh, no, that's just a compact.

Sorry.

Rate this script:3.0 / 2 votes

Lona Williams

Lona Willams (born September 26, 1966 in Hennepin, Minnesota) is an American television producer, writer and actress. more…

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