70. Drop Dead Gorgeous

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Movie: Drop Dead Gorgeous

Release Date: July 23, 1999

Director: Michael Patrick Jann

Starring: Kirstie Alley, Ellen Barkin, Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards.

Tag Lines: “The battle between the good and the bad is about to get ugly.”

Relevance: My entire employment history as an adult was with one company. Twenty-five years in retail. Fifty to sixty hour work weeks, often seven days a week with very low pay, I should get an award or something, right? Granted, I did somewhat enjoy it and at least I wasn’t always at the same location as I moved around with promotions quite a bit. In 2003, I relocated to the company’s home office and started to work Monday through Friday, eight to five. That alone was an award. I also met some really great people there that have become lifelong friends.

One of those friends is sadly no longer with us. At the very young age of forty-three, he left this planet thanks to cancer. Although we only had a few good years together, they were great years. He was energetic, funny and we shared a lot of similar interests in music and movies. We went on a lot of adventures together and our group of friends, with him as the ring leader, laughed constantly. Right around the time I met him, I remember him saying, “Ahhh Amber.” Since I wasn’t familiar with the reference, I asked him what it meant. He gasped. “You mean you have not seen ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous?'” I had not, but that was rectified almost immediately.

I rented ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ from my local Blockbuster video store and as soon as the movie started, I knew it was going to be one that stayed with me my entire life. The mockumentary dark comedy was everything I loved in a film. It was quirky, weird, original and down right hysterical. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t already seen it, but I was so glad that it was finally brought to my attention. I laughed for ninety-eight minutes straight. It immediately received “quote-worthy” status and my friend from work and I called each other “Amber” for at least a year. He brought a lot of light into my life, ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ included.

‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ was both a critical and commercial flop. Maybe it was the marketing? Maybe the world wasn’t ready for that style of film? I will never understand why it wasn’t successful because to me it is one of the funniest films I have ever seen. It firmly belongs in my top one hundred films of all time. I eventually purchased the movie on DVD and have watched it numerous times throughout the years. It has now become a cult classic and I am grateful that many of my friends not only know the movie, but adore it as much as I did. It is quoted, referenced and acknowledged at least once a week in my life. Every time it is, I can’t help but think of my friend and how much I miss him. At least when I am missing him I am laughing and that is exactly how he would have wanted it.

Today’s Thoughts: “Hi. I’m Amber Atkins, and I’m signing up cause uh my two favorite people in the whole world competed in pageants: my mom and Diane Sawyer… Course, I hope I end up a little more like Diane Sawyer than my mom.”

The movie didn’t even start and I was already laughing out loud just by looking at the cover of the DVD. Some movies just immediately put me in a great mood. ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ is definitely one of them. And it did just that. It was the perfect way to start a Friday morning.

How many times and in how many different ways can I say that I love a movie? Well, we can put them all here. ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ is drop dead funny and I loved watching every second of it today. The cast is beyond impeccable. Kirstin Dunst, Ellen Barkin, Allison Janney, Mindy Sterling, Denise Richards and company are perfectly ridiculous and so, so funny. Even Kirstie Alley, whom I am definitely not a fan of in real life (crazy!) is effective in her role. Of course, playing an out of her mind, narcissistic villain, how could she not be effective. Regardless, the movie still makes me smile more than twenty years after its release.

‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ is a funny, entertaining movie and although not the originator of the mockumentary, one that excels tremendously at it. This film comes more than highly recommended, it comes as required viewing. It is that funny. It is that good. I promise you will be quoting the movie immediately after watching it. And boy oh boy, will you laugh.

Ways to Watch: Vudu, DVD Availability.

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