Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

I hate to admit it, but my memories of “Drop Dead Gorgeous” as an underrated, deserving cult classic has perhaps taken a hit with my first re-watch in fifteen years. It’s not that it isn’t good, because it is: It has many laugh-out-loud moments peppered throughout, and its penchant for pitch-black, go-for-broke comedy is remarkably confident. However, it does suffer from a number of problems, beginning with the casting. Kirsten Dunst tries hard but there’s little she can do to make her lead character particularly interesting, while Kirstie Alley is distractingly one-note and grows tiresome fast. It also seems like there’s something lost in the finished product, because while the screenplay is filled with killer lines and amusing ideas, the movie has a regrettable tendency to move on to the next joke without letting any of them breathe, and finally the whole thing starts to feel forced and labored. But on the way there, there are some hilarious stand-outs, like Allison Janney as a foul-mouthed but supportive neighbor, and a screamingly funny Brittany Murphy, who makes you wish she was in the lead in Dunst’s stead. So in the end, it’s one of those good-but-not-great movies that deserves at least one shot but has lost some of its sheen over the years.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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