Confusingly familiar title.
This is probably not the movie you are thinking of. According to IMDb, this
is the 8th film or TV show named Drop Dead Gorgeous in the past 11 years. At
least one of them was fairly significant, a 1999 comedy with a cast of
familiar female faces: Kiki Dunst, Denise Richards, Kirstie Alley, Ellen
Barkin, Allison Janney, Brittany Murphy, Amy Adams, Amanda Detmer, etc.
particular straight-to-vid film, the latest effort with that familiar title,
is a modest black comedy filled with faces which are much less recognizable -
either completely unfamiliar or kinda-sorta vaguely familiar. In the category
of "Damn, who is that guy? I know him from somewhere," Drop Dead Gorgeous
turns out to be the answer to the question that has been troubling mankind
since time immemorial: "Whatever happened to TS Quint?" The biggest name in
the DDG cast is the troubled actor Jeremy London, who once seemed to have a
promising career as a likeable comedy everyman when he starred in Kevin
Smith's Mallrats some 15 years ago, but who now seems to make the news only
tabloid-worthy episodes in his personal life, like having his house foreclosed,
volunteering for a stint on Celebrity Rehab, or claiming to have been
kidnapped earlier this year.
The film starts out with a young model having received her first big break
as the fresh new face of a big fashion house. When she dies during a photo
shoot, the creative people see no reason to abandon their campaign. They just
keep dressing their model's corpse in designer clothing and snapping away.
They soon come to realize that she has just the look they've been seeking!
They also appreciate the fact that she causes far fewer problems than a live
model. She never refuses to do nudity, she never needs a break, and she never
exhibits any diva traits. The basic premise is that the fashion industry loves
the "anorexic, heroin chic" look so much that the recently deceased make the
perfect models. Of course, corpses do have their own set of unique problems,
like the foul stench and the bloating, but that's nothing they can't deal
with. How, exactly? Well, I guess you'll get the picture when I tell you that
one of the characters is named, "Felix, the celebrity taxidermist."
The film gets by on a miniscule budget by structuring the narrative as a
mockumentary in which a pseudo-documentarian is to follow the promising
young model through all the stages of her first big break. Since that concept
requires that the film must look like a low-budget documentary, it is shot on inexpensive video
tape, and requires no sets other than a studio, a hotel room, and an agent's
Is it any good? Well, as I write this it is currently rated 1.1 at IMDb
And that might be a little high.
The low budget isn't what kills it. Given the same general premise, it
might be possible to create a pretty good movie despite a lack of money and an
amateurish feel. This, however, isn't it. The script is the real culprit. It's
just not very funny, mostly because everything is too obvious and the
characters are too broad, but also because the dialogue just isn't brilliant
enough or crazy enough to pull off anything this dark.
Let's face it, the only thing more difficult to watch than a humorless
comedy is a humorless black comedy. The former is merely an exercise in
tedium, while the latter is not only boring and unfunny, but can seem to be in
bad taste as well. That's basically what happens here.