Plus-sized teen named Willowdean, aka Dumplin’ (Danielle MacDonald) has always lived in the shadow of her mother. Her mother, Rosie (Jennifer Aniston), being a former teen beauty queen. As a child, Willowdean was raised by her now-deceased Aunt Lucy. Lucy raised her to be a Dolly Parton-loving, young Texan who was confident in herself regardless of her situation.
Willowdean decides to compete in the Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant after finding an old application that she filled out, but never turned in. She rebels against the social convention deems as ‘pretty’ and enters the pageant to start a revolution. Her confidence inspires other would-be misfits around her to enter the pageant as well.
What I Liked
This story features a young woman who, even though she is plus size, is confident. Though there is plenty of subtext that deals with weight and society, not once during the movie does she consider losing weight a necessary evil to win.
I also enjoyed the romantic part of the story between Bo (Luke Benward) and Willowdean. Bo is has a genuine interest in Willowdean. He is a character who likes someone in spite of the fact that they are plus size. Additionally, there is some great new music by Dolly Parton.
What Could Be Improved
The story has some minor consistency issues with character dress and delineation of time. There is also not much in the way of teen and parent/adult interaction in this film besides Jennifer Aniston. The story does feature other adults but few that are enhancing the realism in the story of being a teen and navigating growing up.
I really enjoyed the film as a whole! Totally relatable and plenty of good humor.
Overall Score 4 out of 5
Also, check out our latest episode of the Back Lot 605 podcast is all about our favorite Christmas movies.