Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Amber Atkins

Once a year, hundreds of young girls compete in The Sarah Rose Cosmetics American Teen Princess Pageant all across America. This year, Amber Atkins is one of those girls. A documentary film crew sent to Minnesota will commemorate this occasion.

Kirsten Dunst in Drop Dead Gorgeous
Kirsten Dunst in Drop Dead Gorgeous

Sarah Rose Cosmetics’ motto goes like this: “Making American teens beautiful for over 50 years!” In Mount Rose, Minnesota, Pop: 5,076, a handful of girls sit in the gymnasium waiting to wow the organizers with their talent and intelligence. Actually, only nine girls sit there. The rest of the town’s teen population couldn’t care less.

Before I get to Amber Atkins, let’s talk about the cast of Drop Dead Gorgeous. The movie features a whack of actresses who are now staple names in Hollywood. Girls such as Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Amy Adams and the late Brittany Murphy have made their mark on the entertainment industry since this movie came out in July 1999. Adding to the roster are Kirstie Alley and Ellen Barkin who play the matrons of the film.

With such a recognizable cast, you’d think they’d get in each other’s way, but this dark comedy has a few surprises for viewers who have never seen it. Don’t worry I won’t spoil it. I’ll only touch on Kirsten Dunst’s character Amber Atkins for this week’s Women Who Wow Wednesday series.

Kirsten Dunst is Amber Atkins
Kirsten Dunst is Amber Atkins

The first thing the audience has the pleasure watching consists of a scene featuring a big sign on the outskirts of town that says, “Welcome to Mount Rose, Minnesota, Home of Freda Hegstrom—Minnesota’s Oldest Living Lutheran.

She was Minnesota’s oldest living Lutheran, but now she’s as dead as a doornail. This sets the tone of the comedy.

Getting back to Amber, her two favorite people in the world are her mom and Diane Sawyer. She wishes however, she’d grow up like Diane Sawyer. After school, she has a job like any other teen. Of course, unlike other teens, she works in the town’s morgue. She practices her tap dance routine every chance she gets, including doing hair and makeup on dead corpses.

Many of her competitors take ballet to learn grace, something Amber already possesses. Between a regiment of “tendu, close, tendu, close, tendu close, plié,” the choreographer believes Amber has a chance of winning. It’s a dream of Amber to win, but her main goal is to get out of Mount Rose and become a big-time reporter like Diane Sawyer.

Dreaming big makes Amber one of a kind. In the midst of competition, she keeps her cool and delivers. The best part about Amber is her easygoing nature, taking things in stride and not letting others sour her mood, even if others can be sour on her.

Told you I wouldn’t spoil it for you.


Have you ever seen Drop Dead Gorgeous? What did you think of it? What did you think of the cast involved in the production of this film?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

13 thoughts on “Amber Atkins

  1. I. LOVE! This movie. I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Kirsten Dunst’s career, but she kills it in this movie. What’s not to love? Plus you get Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney. Even more awesome! I even like Denise Richards in it which doesn’t happen often (though I will begrudgingly admit I also like her in “Starship Troopers”). Funny–I’ve been thinking that I need to sit down for a re-watching of this lately. I think you’ve just inspired me to stop thinking and start doing! LOL Great choice.

  2. I haven’t seen this yet but I really like Kirsten. She looks like she’s laid back in real life too.

  3. I love this movie! I haven’t seen it in ages, and you’ve just inspired me to rewatch it. Kristie Alley is hilarious – perfect time to remind myself of how funny she can be before her new sitcom airs on tv 🙂

  4. As you know, I think, I really enjoy this movie. And when I saw the name Amber Atkins in my email, I could hear it just like Dunst says it. This is a dark comedy, yes, rife with stereotypes and some bizarre moments. I love it. And Amber is TOTALLY a woman who wows. 🙂

  5. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen Drop Dead Gorgeous, but I haven’t forgotten how much fun it is, and it’s a shame it gets overlooked in the midst of the plethora of 90’s teen comedies. The comedy is dark, but it works well against the apparent sugary sweetness of the beauty pageant world.
    Kirsten Dunst really throws herself into the role of Amber, the entire cast is spot on, and it is amusing to see the final line up of winners given their subsequent career trajectories.

    Nice post and kudos for no spoilers too!

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