• Director: Michael Patrick Jann
• Writer: Lona Williams
• Release Date: 23 July 1999 (USA)
• MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for irreverent and crude humor, sex-related material and language.
• Parents Guide: View content advisory for parents
• Genre: Comedy
• Runtime: 97 min.
• Box Office #s: Here

Cast Highlights
• Denise Richards
• Allison Janney
• Kirstie Alley
• Brittany Murphy
• Amy Adams
• Ellen Barkin

In a small Minnesota town, the annual beauty pageant is being covered by a TV crew. Former winner Gladys Leeman wants to make sure her daughter follows in her footsteps. Explosions, falling lights, and trailer fires prove that. As the Leemans are the richest family in town the police are pretty relaxed about it all. Despite everything, main rival (but nice) Amber Atkins won’t be stopped. There could well be more death and disappointment to come.

From the Gallery



  • The mall parking lot Gladys’ pulls into to pick up the dresses is Eden Prairie Center in Eden Prairie (not the Mall of America), the same mall that was used in Mallrats (1995)
  • The giant cow statue is located at a creamery in Bongards, Minnesota.
  • Screenwriter Lona Williams was herself a contestant in local beauty pageants. She appears in the film as the pageant’s third, non-speaking judge, Jean.
  • Film Debut of Amy Adams.
  • The original title was “Dairy Queens”, but it had to be changed after the corporation that owns the Dairy Queen ice cream chain filed a lawsuit.
  • The sports teams at Mount Rose High School are called the “Muskies.” This is in reference to the muskellunge, a fish found in northern Minnesota, whose name derives from the Ojibwa word for “ugly pike.”
  • The movie makes multiple references to traditional Minnesota food: The Mount Rose High cafeteria serves lutefisk for lunch, Jell-O salad is served at Tammy’s funeral, and several scenes include people eating and offering “bars,” considered an essential dessert for Minnesota potlucks.


Loretta: Can one of yous boys give me a ride home?
Annette Atkins: Don’t fall for it. She lives two trailers down.
Loretta: So? Be real easy.
Annette Atkins: Go on home, Loretta. Come on. Go on, the party’s over.
Loretta: Anyone?

Amber Atkins: Yah, my ma’s clothes all melted onto mine forming, like, this big polyester meteor in our closet, y’know? But, in some kinda weird miracle, our neighbor boy, Kenny Hanson, found my tap costume on the roof o’ their trailer while he was settin’ coon traps for his dad. Here’s the weird part: it was still on the hanger.

Amber Atkins: I don’t eat shellfish. Mom always says, “Don’t ever eat nothin’ that can carry its house around with it. Who knows the last time it’s been cleaned.” She should know.

Amber Atkins: This is bullshit!
Iris Clark: That is not American Teen Princess language!
Amber Atkins: Well this isn’t an American Teen Princess Pageant! This… This… This is Nazi Germany!

Amber Atkins: My mom never hid the fact that my dad chose his career over us. What was it she always said?
Loretta: Once a carnie, always a carnie.
Amber Atkins: Mom still cries every time she sees a tilt-a-whirl or a fat lady in a tube top.

Annette Atkins: Who’s this?
Amber Atkins: Oh, they’re here to see my room and film me for their movie.
Annette Atkins: If they ask you to take your top off, get the money first.

[during the pageant interview] Harold Vilmes: Name and spell all the United States in alphabetical order.
Amber Atkins: Seriously?

Loretta: What is wrong with you?
Amber Atkins: I don’t know. I just didn’t wanna win like this.
Loretta: You stop right there. You are a good person. Good things happen to good people.
Amber Atkins: Really?
Loretta: No. It’s pure bullshit, sweetie. You’re lucky as hell, so you might as well enjoy it.
Amber Atkins: Okay.
Loretta: Do you guys want some shots? I’m buyin’!

Amber Atkins: 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.

Loretta: Best damn tapper, most smartest.
Annette Atkins: Most smartest?
Loretta: Most smartest!

Terry Macey: And you are…
Amber Atkins: Mount Rose American Teen Princess.
Terry Macey: Funny, you don’t look dead!

Amber Atkins: Loretta, never have kids.
Loretta: Oh, honey, God bless ya for thinking I still could.

Annette Atkins: I am reaching the point where I would kill someone for the nicotine under their fingernails.

Amber Atkins: [after Becky gives Mary a box of chocolates] Good going Becky, she’s anorexic.
Becky Ann Leeman: [covers Mary’s ears] She’s skinny Amber, not deaf.

Cop #1: The Curry girl? Oh yeah. After some careful investigatin’ we determined it was a case of smokin’ and drivin’.
Amber Atkins: Well yeah Tammy liked to drive her dad’s thresher! She said the heavy vibrations helped clear her mind. But I know Tammy only smoked AFTER a good drive.

Amber Atkins: [shaken after seeing her mom in the hospital] Ummm. I’m quitting the pagent.
Loretta: [grabbing and shaking Amber] You’re WHAT?
Amber Atkins: I’m quitting the…
Loretta: I heard you! I was just trying to get you to change your mind. Amber, the woman clung to your tap shoes while she was flying through the air like a goddamn lawn dart!

Amber Atkins: [Running onto the scene of her and her mom’s blown up trailer home] Mom? MOM?
Fireman: Whoa, whoa, whoa… you family?
Loretta: No, she’s just yelling, “Mom, mom,” because she has Tourettes! She’s Annette’s kid dipshit.

Amber Atkins: Oh yeah. Guys get out of Mount Rose all the time on hockey scholarships… or prison.

Amber Atkins: [crying after her tap costume disappears] It’s not fair!
Lisa Swenson: Here, take my costume. I had it approved a month ago.
Amber Atkins: But, Lisa…
Lisa Swenson: Amber, listen, I’m not going to win. We both know that. Beside, we only need one dancer in our family and Peter has better legs.
[hugs Amber]

Annette Atkins: [Annette thinks Amber is pregnant] Honey, honey, come talk to Mommy. I promise, whatever it is, I won’t be mad.
Amber Atkins: Okay, I’m quitting the pageant.
Annette Atkins: [grabs Amber by the shirt and begins hitting her with a beer can] What?
[to the documentary crew] Annette Atkins: Oh, could you excuse us for a moment? Loretta, take the guys outside, please. Now, sit your skinny little ass down!

Loretta: [referencing a pageant dress] Your ma did want you to have this, though, since your other one got toasted an all.
Amber Atkins: Oh, my God! It’s just like Diane Sawyer’s!
Loretta: Yah?
Amber Atkins: Oh! Of course it’s not a size 10. Diane was little hippy then.
Loretta: Not our girl.
Amber Atkins: Oh, no.

Amber Atkins: [as Annette is being driven away in an ambulance] Mom! I’ll be right behind you in the hearse!
Loretta: Don’t let that worry you Annette!

Annette Atkins: I shoved your tap shoes in my panties before I was blown out of the house. You go find the guy who cut ’em off.

Annette Atkins: [getting a shot] Ow! What did they have a sale on dull needles at K-Mart?
Candy Striper: I just need one more do-over.

Female Reporter #2: Amber, how do you feel?
Amber Atkins: Well, I feel like I need to take a shower.
[everyone laughs] Female Reporter #2: Honey, is this the best day of your life?
Amber Atkins: Yeah… I wish my mom was here, though.
Loretta: You can wave hi, say hi to her!
Amber Atkins: Hi mom!
Loretta: Hey!
[they both wave to the camera] Annette Atkins: [sitting in her hospital room] Hi, monkey!
Loretta: I got some!

Amber Atkins: Lutefisk – well must be Wednesday, then.

Lars Larson: Amber, I need Stella now. The family’s steaming like a cowpie in July. Said she doesn’t look nothing like the picture they gave you.
Amber Atkins: Sorry, I just thought she might not want to meet her maker looking like a cheap whore.
Lars Larson: Well, this cheap whore is that family’s loving mother.

Lars Larson: Amber!
Amber Atkins: [while working on Brett’s corpse] If it’s another stray bullet to the head, I’m gonna need more caps.
Lars Larson: You have to go home. There’s some kind of emergency at the trailer park.
Amber Atkins: Relax, that’s my ma’s code for bring home milk and a carton of Lucky’s.
Lars Larson: No, Loretta called; there’s been a fire!