On December 7, Netflix released its much anticipated movie “Dumplin,’” based on the book by Julie Murphy in 2015. The movie follows the story of Willowdean Dickson, played by Danielle Macdonald, the plus size daughter of former pageant queen Rosie Dickson, played by Jennifer Aniston, in a small southern town.
I was a little worried about this movie at first, fearing it would be a flop like the rest of the “body positive” movies that have come out this year, but I was proved completely wrong. Here are all of the ways this movie exceeded my expectations:Via IMDb
Willowdean was always very close to her aunt since her mother was constantly working and, when she wasn’t, she was busy with pagents. She and her aunt Lucy bonded over a love of Dolly Parton and Lucy’s reminders that Willowdean should never change herself in order to please other people.
After the death of her aunt, Willowdean goes through boxes of her aunt’s old things and discovers that Lucy had almost entered the same pageant as Rosie when they were teenagers. She then decides to enter the pageant that her mother is hosting as a form of protest in honor of her aunt, inspiring her friends and other girls who are not “typical beauty queens” to enter alongside her. She breaks the rules by doing a talent act that was not pre-approved and shocks the audience by coming on stage alongside her best friend with swimsuits on that read “Every body is” on the front and “a swimsuit body” on the back.Via Popbuzz
In the end, Willowdean is disqualified from the competition because her talent was not pre-approved by the directors, but she bonds with her mother in a way they never had before (with a little help from a few local Dolly Parton impersonating drag queens who knew Lucy well). They talk about their shared love of Lucy and realize that they may not be as different as they had always thought.
The movie is everything that “Sierra Burgess is a Loser” and “Insatiable” could and should have been but, unfortunately, were not. This movie steered clear of offensive jokes and storylines that just revolved around teenage romance. While Willowdean does have a love interest, the plot does not happen just because of him. Moreover, Willowdean does not feel the need to lie or lose weight in order to get her love interest to notice her, he likes her just the way she is and always has, it just takes her a little while to realize it. There is no skinny shaming or fat shaming, it shows amazing character development and has a bomb soundtrack.
This movie is absolutely incredible and I highly recommend adding it to your “to be watched” list. Just make sure you grab a box of tissues first!