Crowned and Dangerous (1997)
Drop Dead Boring
"Crowned and Dangerous" is basically a forerunner to "Drop Dead Gorgeous" except that it is not only different in style but also a made for TV movie, as such we have a story of rivalry and murder in the world of beauty pageants. Unfortunately "Crowned and Dangerous" is one forgettable movie with the shapely figure of Yasmine Bleeth being the only thing slightly memorable. And "Crowned and Dangerous" is forgettable because of a lot of reasons from a weak storyline to huge plot holes but mostly because it isn't sharp enough, for a movie about the bitchy world of beauty competitions it lacks bite. "Crowned and Dangerous" is also not funny enough because as well as being a murder mystery it is also meant to be amusing but rarely delivers laughs or black comedy.
Danielle Stevens (Yasmine Bleeth) is tired of always being beaten by Shauna Langley (Cassidy Rae) in beauty competitions and tired of her mum Cathy (Jill Clayburgh - Silver Streak) constantly pushing her to be a beauty queen. When Shauna is involved in a water skiing incident she accuses Danielle of sabotage leading to the police to suspect her of foul play and there is more foul play when Shauna tells Danielle's boyfriend, her ex, Riley (George Eads - Monte Walsh) that she is pregnant with their child. But that is nothing to when Shauna is duped into going to Riley's factory where she is murdered, but who could have done it as there are many people with reasons to kill.
It seems that "Crowned and Dangerous" is trying to be a comedy, murder mystery around a bitchy rivalry between two beauty pageant contestants. I say seems because it struggles to be any of these things for the simple reason it lacks killer writing and biting humour to make it work. To me this sort of rivalry should be dark and bitchy and with a set up which gives us at least 4 suspects maybe more we should have this interest in who killed Shauna but it never gets it. Why, well the only reason I can think is that because "Crowned and Dangerous" is a TV movie and is softer than a big screen movie.
What this means is that as "Crowned and Dangerous" plays out it struggles to really grab your attention. It goes through the motions setting up the rivalry between Danielle and Shauna, dropping in characters from boyfriends to step mums who all could have reason to want to kill her. And it thinks it is being funny when we see a beauty queen with a dirty nose or one walking into a police station wearing her crown when in truth it isn't. And unfortunately it lacks believability as there are giant holes in the logic which adds to the overall feeling of weakness.
I could go on because there are many more issues including characters who are one dimensional and ultimately forgettable. Even the main characters of Danielle and Shauna are forgettable with the only thing memorable being Yasmine Bleeth's shapely figure in a swim suit.
What this all boils down to is that "Crowned and Dangerous" is a weak movie even by TV movie standards and lacks the darkness and bite a comedy, murder mystery surrounding beauty contestants deserves.
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