Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Drop Dead Gorgeous

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Dark '90s pageant satire has language, violence.

Movie PG-13 1999 97 minutes
Drop Dead Gorgeous Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (2 ):

Drop Dead Gorgeous tries to emulate the cleverness of Christopher Guest mockumentaries (Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind) but misses the mark. Despite great performances by Dunst as a hard-working innocent and the magnificent Janney playing the good-hearted version of the low-life mother she later perfected in I, Tonya, too often this feels strained and cliched. It's clear the filmmakers disapprove of pageants and the way such competitions compare women's attributes as if they were prize cattle, but the script seems as dopey as, and far crueler than, the kind of people it mocks. When a Lutheran woman nearly runs down a priest, she suggests he's probably drunk, having tippled too much sacred Holy Communion wine. The mom who is a former winner of the contest herself uses her wealth and influence to buy and murder her way to her daughter's present-day triumph. That her daughter meets with a terrible end seems proper comeuppance, but this comes by way of cheap jokes about Mexican craftsmanship and how easy it is to bribe anyone dumb enough to accept tacos rather than money. Not that such bigoted, vile, and caricature-able people don't exist, but the notion that small towners are all either gun-toting trailer park "trash," or wealthy hypocritical ignoramuses seems more than biased, and downright offensive.

It's not exactly news that beauty pageants exploit and objectify women, and it wasn't news in 1999 when the movie was made, either. Like Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, the focus is on mocking the uneducated and the ignorant, but at least that movie acknowledges that decent and intelligent people also inhabit the world.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate