Dumplin’ Review


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.

Final Thoughts

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.

About the Author
Sam started contributing reviews to Back Lot 605 late last year. Going to the movies is definitely is a full-time hobby, often going to one or two movies a week (she is really just in it for the popcorn)! She is considered the movie guru in her family. While she does love movies, the horror genre is not her cup of tea. Some of Sam’s favorite movies range from classics like The Way We Were, to funny comedies like the Hangover and while it’s hard to pick an absolute favorite, Pay It Forward ranks near the very top.
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