Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, Odeya Rush, Luke Benward
Director: Anne Fletcher
Release Date: 7 December 2018
Run Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Movie Type: Comedy, Drama, Musical
Willowdean (‘Dumplin’), the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen, signs up for her mom’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.
I’ll be honest, I went into this movie a little hesitant because the last big girl movie that I tried watching, the big girl pissed me off. I didn’t want another Sierra Burgess is a Loser so I crossed my fingers and hoped Jennifer Aniston wasn’t going to let me down. I’m super happy to report that this movie, Dumplin’ was exactly what I hoped Sierra was going to be and I adored watching it. I didn’t read the book so I can’t compare them but I really enjoyed the movie. I thought the actors portrayed their characters well, the acting itself was great and the story was solid.
So this movie follows our main character, Willowdean Dickson. Will works at a diner, has the bestest best friend and a mother who is a former beauty queen who is still very active in the beauty pageant world in their small Texas town. She also has a giant crush on her coworker and friend, Bo. Will has a bright personality and her love for all things Dolly Parton was delightful.
The movie revolves around her Aunt dying and Will trying to move on while finding some common ground with her beauty queen mother. They are as different as night and day. Will is bigger than her size 0 mother and not at all into the things that her mother is into so they don’t have a lot in common and that gets in the way of them having a close relationship with each other. Will’s Mom won’t talk about Will’s Aunt Lucy and Will desperately wants to connect with her Mom over their shared love of Lucy but she never gets the chance because her Mom is so unwilling.
Will gets made fun at school because her Mom continues to call her Dumplin’ so when she’s at her lowest, she comes across an unsubmitted beauty pageant application of her Aunt’s and she decides that she’s going to sign up for the beauty pageant herself. She’s going to finish what her Aunt Lucy couldn’t.
Aunt Lucy and Will were close. Aunt Lucy understood Will in a way that Will didn’t think her mother did and Lucy raised Will to be kind and to be happy. She introduced Will to Dolly Parton and introduced Will to Elle. Will and Elle became the best of friends and I really loved the strong friendships we see in this movie. From Will and Elle to Will and her weirdos Millie and Hannah, Will’s friendship game is strong.
I loved seeing Will come into her own. I loved seeing her gain the confidence to be happy with herself and letting others around her be happy with her as well. I adored the tiny romance between her and Bo and though Bo was fantastic and adorable, he wasn’t in the movie long enough to take over my adoration for Peter Kavinsky. The movie was more about Willowdean and the romance was such a small part of that but when she gains the confidence to return Bo’s crush, I cheered because I was super happy for her.
This movie was all that and a bag of chips for me. I adored the girl that played Will, I loved seeing her bond with her Mom and I loved that her Mom wasn’t the villain. I loved that the Mom really did love Will and was so proud of her, but didn’t know how to connect with her. I loved that they got it right in the end and this movie was just the bomb. Lots of fun scenes mixed in with sweet scenes, this movie isn’t to be missed.
4.5 out of 5