Dumplin is the latest Netflix original film that is taking the world by storm. There’s just something that’s so unique about about the movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald that it leaves the viewer with a newfound sense of inspiration. It’s an uplifting story of a small-town girl who fights the status quo of the pageant world and gives a whole new meaning to female empowerment.
Willowdean Dickson (Macdonald) is the daughter of former pageant queen, Rosie Dickson (Aniston), who doesn’t understand her daughter at all because of all their differences. Her Aunt Lucy was the only one that Willowdean has ever believed fully understood her, but she passed away six months before the movie is set. Her aunt instilled self-confidence and a love for everything Dolly Parton in her niece and even introduced her to her best friend, Ellen Dryver (Odeya Rush).
When Willowdean finds an old application for the Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant that her aunt had filled out when she was sixteen, the same pageant that her mom won when she was younger, she decides to enter the competition as a protest of the pageant world’s definition of beauty and as a tribute to her late aunt. She is joined by Ellen, another heavy set girl with a over-excited demeanor named Millie and Hannah, an offbeat teenager who wants to “fight the man.”
There’s so many reasons to love this movie. So Young Entertainment Mag has compiled a list of reasons why it’s just so good.
- Females Loving Females
There’s nothing better than a group of girls supporting one another. And that’s exactly what happens when Will and her group of misfits start training together for the pageant. Even when she’s on the outs for wanting to win the pageant, Ellen is still supportive of her best friend. That’s true friendship right there. The girls work together on costumes and talent performances. And they never once turn it into the competition that it’s supposed to be. Girl power, am I right?
- Drag Queens
Need we say more? The girls are way out of their league at the start of pageant training. Until they stumble across a bar that Willowdean’s aunt used to frequent before she died. None of them expect the Dolly Parton theme drag queen show that they encounter. The Drag Queen Dollys find out Will is Lucy’s niece and she explains her protest agenda. Then they take the girls under their wings and teach them all the tricks of the performance trade, even coming up with stunning costume ideas.
- Body Image
Something that truly stands out about Dumplin is it’s outlook on body image. Will is a heavy set girl, who is extremely comfortable with herself. Sure, she might have some self-doubt sometimes, but she learned from her aunt to be loud and proud. Instead of going through some kind of body transformation during the movie and then coming to love herself, Willowdean already embraces her looks, despite what other people think. She doesn’t have to change her appearance to be happy, and that’s a lesson a lot of people can learn.
- Romance Takes a Back Seat
The movie features a budding relationship between Will and her fastfood co-worker, Bo. But it’s not the main focus of the story. On the contrary, things are centered on Will and her need to do one last thing for her late aunt. In some films, the romance part makes up the entirety of the plot and is the underlying cause for practically every scene, but Dumplin is special. Willowdean doesn’t need a relationship to accomplish her goals, but instead gets one because of how she reaches them.
- Dolly Parton
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” The entire thing is an ode to the Queen of Country herself. Will and Ellen got their love of all things Dolly from Aunt Lucy. And they follow her lessons almost as closely as the bible. Dolly is everywhere, from the soundtrack, to the advice and we cannot get enough of it.
So, if you haven’t seen Dumplin yet, you should definitely log into your Netflix right now and watch it! It’s a true treasure, and you know what Dolly once said, “never leave a rhinestone unturned.”