Thursday, 14 February 2019

Dumplin' Review

Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Written By
Kristin Hahn

Based on the Book By
Julie Murphy

Directed By
Anne Fletcher

Comedy, Drama, Musical

Danielle Macdonald as Willowdean
Jennifer Aniston as Rosie
Odeya Rush as Ellen
Maddie Baillio as Millie
Bex Taylor-Klaus as Hannah
Luke Benward as Bo
Dove Cameron as Bekah
Harold Perrineau as Lee
Kathy Najimy as Millie's Mom
Joshua Allan Eads as Candee Disch (Credited as Ginger Minj)

Year Released



Willowdean ('Dumplin'), the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen, signs up for her mom's Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town. 


I am a huge fan of the singer Dolly Parton. I'm a huge fan of cheesy movies where someone doubts themselves and then realises they can actually do what ever it is that they need to do. When I found out there was going to be a Netflix movie that combined the two, well I was excited.

I went in to the movie fully expecting an out and out cheese fest that would be largely forgettable once the end credits rolled. What I didn't expect was a heartfelt movie that would be so touching and fun that I would want to watch it again as soon as it had finished.

A lot of the reviews have said that the movie is massively changed from the book that it is based on but, as I haven't read the book then I can't really comment on that. However, that said, if the book is as enjoyable as the movie despite being different then I'll be picking myself up a copy of that rather soon.

One of the things that I liked about the movie was that while it wasn't the most original movie I've ever seen, the performances are so superb and memorable across the board that it raises the quality of the whole movie a lot higher than it could have been. In particular, the performance of  Danielle Macdonald as Willowdean is an absolute delight. She manages to be hilarious funny, bringing you to tears of laughter but then in the very next scene shows the character as so fragile that she has you in tears of sadness too.  It's because of her performance that you can't help but will her on during her journey. It's the same with her friends too. They may not take as much of the spotlight of the movie as she does but each character is so different and have such varying personalities that each and every one of them is as memorable as each other.

One of the things that impressed me was the simple fact that the growing romance between Willowdean and Bo was so simply written that it was brilliantly effective and heart warming, even bringing more than a tear to my eyes.

The soundtrack to the movie, full of songs both old and new by the legendary Dolly Parton, is almost a character all by itself.  The songs puncuate the story perfectly and really ramp up the emotion in the scenes too.

One downside to the movie that I found was that they left a couple of character moments a little short changed but the rest of the movie is utterly brilliant. In fact, I'd say it's the best feel good movie that I've seen in a long time.

Movie 8/10

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