Tough Movie Mothers, From Well-Meaning to Just Mean

By Nikhil Hutheesing, Suzanne Woolley and Ben Steverman - 2012-05-08T21:17:08Z

Photograph by New Line Cinema/Everett Collection

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Well Meaning: 'Drop Dead Gorgeous'

In the dark 1999 comedy "Drop Dead Gorgeous," anyone associated with a small town's annual beauty pageant is liable to end up dead or injured. Tractors explode. Trailer park homes are bombed. Lighting equipment falls on dancers. Parade floats catch fire. Is this a beauty pageant or "The Hunger Games"? Gladys Leeman, played by Kirstie Alley, is the mastermind of much of this death and destruction. Her motive, hidden under a thick veneer of "Minnesota nice:" Make her daughter (Denise Richards) a pageant star, despite her utter lack of talent.