"Dumplin'"

Willowdean (Danielle McDonald) is the daughter of Rosie (Jennifer Aniston), who is not what the daughter of a former teenage beauty pageant winner is thought of. As Willow grieves the loss of Lucy (Hilliary Begley), she finds the courage with her friends and classmates to shift ideals in beauty standards as contestants in the Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant.

Danielle McDonald is fantastic. She gives depth to the character. Odeya Rush is delightful as Ellen, Willow’s best friend. Bex Taylor-Klaus is sensational as Hannah, one of the classmates participating in the beauty pageant. Jennifer Aniston is stunning as Rosie, dealing with the life she thought winning the pageant would give her and learning how to support Willowdean as they could not be more different. Harold Perrineau is divine as Lee, a drag queen who helps bring the girls to pageantry. Maddie Ballio, Dove Cameron, Tian Richards, Molly McNearney, Kathy Najimy, Hilliary Begley, Luke Benward, Sam Pancake and Dan Flannerty are a wonderful supporting cast.

Screenwriter Kristin Hahn wrote a heart-warming and realistic script. The Texas charm and the twang were wonderful. Bo (Luke Benward) is the dreamy and genuine boy next door. An 8 Ball was a fun prop for Willowdean. At first, I had no desire to watch this film, believing it was another film taking tropes of making fun of plus-sized people and pretty skinny girls are desirable once again for some kind of display, which does happen. However, the characters live life and change societal expectations without teaching a lesson. The drama did not weigh down the beat of the film. Director Anne Fletcher gave the idyllic beauty of Texas, wide location shots including Harpy’s, where Willowdean works and the sparkle of beauty pageants. Music by Jake Monaco was the highlight of the film, as much of it were Dolly Parton songs, which bond Willowdean with Lucy and Ellen. Costume Designer Bina Daigeler must of had a ball with the clothes, with so much life from the sequined and colorful costumes to Willowdean’s work apron.

You can watch this film on Netflix.