Dumplin’ (2018)Watch full movie now
Based on the bestselling 2015 YA novel, this is the story of Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald), who’s called Dumplin’ by her mother Rosie (Jennifer Aniston), former beauty queen and current organiser of the Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant in the small Texas town where she’s lived her whole life.
Willowdean is happy enough with her life – she’s got a summer job as a waitress and is kept company by her really great bestie and Dolly Parton hits. But then September comes, throwing her mother full tilt into pageant season, and Willowdean decides that the only way to overthrow the impossible standards of teen beauty contests is by infiltrating them. So she enters her mother’s pageant herself, which encourages fellow not-conventional-beauty-queen-material girls Hannah and Maddie to join her.
There are plenty of sweetly uplifting moments in this fairly predictable film, but it offers a standout performance by Macdonald as Willowdean, and an excellent soundtrack. Dolly Parton recorded 12 brand-new songs for the movie, with one of them, Girl in the Movies, earning a 2019 Golden Globe nomination.
So if what you’re after is a fun, easy-watching family movie with fantastic music, Dumplin’ is it. IndieWire agrees: “It presents a world that’s a little kinder, a little gentler, and a little more willing to see the good in people than the current standards these days.”
IMDB rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 85%