Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

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Amy Adams as: Leslie Miller
Directed by: Michael Patrick Jann
Written by: Lona Williams
Selected Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Ellen Barkin, Kirstie Alley, Denise Richards
Release Date: July 23, 1999 (US)
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: PG-13

The battle between the good and the bad is bound to get ugly.

The local boosters of Mount Rose, Minnesota proudly invite you to watch as their annual celebration of civic pride, wholesome achievement, teenage innocence and spirited camaraderie all go up in hilarious flames over the course of one nasty, back-stabbing beauty contest.

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.

Here in the hallowed American heartland — amidst the cow fields, pork sausage factories and Lutheran churches, going after the tiara is not just a fairy-tale dream: it’s all-out war.

Drop Dead Gorgeous Online

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Amy’s Role

In one of her most hilarious roles to date, Amy plays Leslie Miller, a simple small town girl. Leslie is mainly into her boyfriend, who seems to adore her equally, and his team Muskies, whom she’s a cheerleader for. Leslie enters the pageant because her boyfriend thinks she’ll win and she does indeed rate well. Although this is her first feature film role, Amy Adams is already spot on with comic timing! Drop Dead Gorgeous is definitely a must see for all fans of Amy.

“I punched Kirsten Dunst in the arm because she was being snarky. She had a wicked sense of humor, and she had offended the Minnesota folk one too many times for my liking, so I punched her. It wasn’t a true punch, though, because I could’ve disabled her.”
“It was doing Drop Dead Gorgeous in Minnesota. The film had come to town to shoot and they auditioned for some of the smaller roles and I was cast and that sort of introduced me to the idea that I could be a film actress.”

Character Quotes
“OK… Hi… I’m Leslie Miller… and I’m signing up ’cause… Oh… I always watch the pageants on TV and my boyfriend thinks I’ll win.”
“Oh yeah… Really nervous… It’s been about, 2 months. I haven’t told my boyfriend yet. How did you know? … Oh! You mean about the pageant! Yeah!”
“They’re never gonna let you perform naked, I asked!”

Trivia & Facts

• Filmed on location in Minnesota, USA.

• This is Amy Adams’ film debut!

•In 1998, she was spotted in the chorus of the Country Dinner Playhouse production of Anything Goes by producer Michael Nelson, who made her audition for the movie, which was filming near-by. Amy won the role, and it set her on the road to stardom.

• Co-star Kristie Alley encouraged Adams to try her luck in Hollywood.

• Screenwriter Lona Williams was herself a contestant in local beauty pageants. She appears in the film as the pageant’s third, non-speaking judge, Jean.

• The original title was Dairy Queens, but it had to be changed after the corporation that owns the Dairy Queen ice cream chain filed a lawsuit.

• The mall parking lot Gladys’ pulls into to pick up the dresses is Eden Prairie Center in Eden Prairie (not the Mall of America), the same mall that was used in Mallrats. (1995)


Drop Dead Gorgeous pushes all kinds of hot buttons and goes out on a limb when Alley’s daughter enters the pageant’s talent competition, singing “You’re Just Too Good to Be True” to a familiar religious icon…

The actors have a ball with this stuff, particularly Barkin and Allison Janney, who plays her best friend and fellow man-chasing party chick. These gals drink, smoke and sleep around too much, but they have such fierce love for Barkin’s daughter — and take such unbridled enjoyment in life — that they emerge as the movie’s most lovable characters.” – Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle

“What Drop Dead Gorgeous lacks in originality, it makes up for in vicious wit and vivid lead performances.” – Pam Grady, Reel