I first watched Dumplin’ in late 2018. I stumbled across it one night when my flatmates had gone for a night out whilst I opted to stay in. I needed something easy, fun and heart-warming and let me tell you, Dumplin’ ticks all of these boxes. The film tells the story of Willowdean Dickson (Danielle Macdonald), a plus sized teenager living in the shadow of her former beauty queen mother Rosie (Jennifer Aniston).
In the film Willowdean signs up to her mother’s beauty pageant to mock those who choose to take part. What I love about this film is that no one is truly vilified. Yes, we see things through Willowdean’s eyes, but the film allows for the conventionally ‘bad’ characters to have their humanity shine through. Willowdean’s point of view is shown at times to be wrong and we, the viewers, learn that with her. For a film that few have even heard of, it made sure it took the time to give the characters depth and heart, they are not typical teenage clichés.
I should also say the film has a killer soundtrack. Willowdean’s love of the great Dolly Parton bleeds through to the soundtrack and it amps up the camp to a wonderful level. Also, fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race will spot Ginger Minj among other Drag Queens littered throughout the film. If you need something heart-warming, with Drag Queens and Dolly Parton, then Dumplin’ is the film for you.