Dumplin' (2018)
December 7, 2018 2:23 PM - Subscribe

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.
posted by the primroses were over (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This is not the most original movie, but I found it charming. I am pretty much the exact target audience for a Dolly Parton themed pageant comedy, so ymmv.
posted by the primroses were over at 2:37 PM on December 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Kid friendly?
posted by k8t at 9:44 PM on December 7, 2018

I was drinking when I watched it, but I don't think there is anything in there I wouldn't let my kids see.

The movie itself was fine. There were some nice parts, some of the plot stuff seemed a little too contrived, like the characters were archetypes rather than actual people, but I overall there are worse ways to spend 90 minutes or whatever.

Oh and Michael from Lost as a drag queen!
posted by Literaryhero at 5:22 AM on December 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

k8t, there are a few swears and a bully gets kneed in the groin, but otherwise it's all good I think - caveat, Good Janet voice here - not a parent!

It is weirdly paced, and the actors are better than the characters they're given to work with. The best parts of the script are just Dolly Parton quotations. It's a little clunky and schmaltzy.

But almost all the characters are women or drag queens, there's more than one fat girl who gets a story not about weight loss, there's a lot of strong teenage girl friendships and only a touch of romance, and some very fun scenes.
posted by the primroses were over at 2:40 PM on December 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

So I was wondering about the whole "magical drag queens helping straight white girls find their groove," aspect. It was charming otherwise, but about Disney-movie in terms of depth.
posted by emjaybee at 3:39 PM on December 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

I thought it was a little weird about sexuality in general, in ways that might concern me if I were a parent. I think we're definitely supposed to read Hannah as queer, but is that ever addressed in any way? Like, wouldn't the whole "suprise! There's a whole queer subculture in your podunk town!" thing be at least as significant for her as the fat-acceptance stuff would be for Willowdean and Millie? What was up with Aunt Lucy? Why didn't her family know about her active social life hanging out at a gay bar with drag queens? Did her friends not come to her funeral, and if so, didn't anyone inquire about who they were? (Or maybe we're supposed to think that Rosie did know about them, and Lucy and Rosie just didn't tell Willowdean? And if so, why not?) The movie is so explicit about size-acceptance that it's kind of glaring that it seems to tiptoe around everything having to do with queerness.

Having said that, I thought it was fun and charming.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:18 PM on December 9, 2018 [8 favorites]

This was weird and felt unfinished. I agree with a lot of what ArbitraryAndCapricious wrote. Why the hell and what the hell was Aunt Lucy doing hanging out at a drag bar all the time and how did no one notice? Is Hannah actually gay? Could she or someone else maybe say something about that at some point then? Are we supposed to believe that super-religious mom is now somehow totally fine with hanging out with the drag queens after seeing her daughter in the pageant? I guess we've already accepted that super-religious teen girl is ok with it as long as they are teaching her makeup.

My ten year old watched it with me and I guess it had some ok messages but it was pretty movie-of-the-week overall. It was educational in that my daughter thought the accents were made up (and not just Jennifer Aniston I mean) and my wife was surprised that these types of pageants are still going on.
posted by Cuke at 1:44 PM on December 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

Watched it with my wife. We had high hopes. The trailer advertises an underdog story, loving but flawed characters, and great music. Sadly the movie was an editing and directing disaster. We lost interest in the plot in half an hour, and the characters not long after. Every line, and every scene felt contrived. Half of it could have been cut without loss, except that it would have revealed the other half to be too thin to carry the movie. What a disappointment :(
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:46 PM on December 10, 2018

I pretty much agree with the primroses were over--parts were clunky, but it I liked it and found it to be very sweet.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 8:56 AM on December 13, 2018

Why are both the fat girls, but no one else, wearing little skirted bathing suits? It seems like a weird decision -- every body is a swimsuit body, but not every upper thigh is?

Also I think the mom had very odd characterization, I didn't buy the sudden "actually now I'm fat positive" change. (I am so pleased I did not watch this with my mother as she wanted.)

I also agree with the weirdness about sexuality. But I enjoyed the movie overall, it was sweet and generally positive if limited in its outlook.
posted by jeather at 7:23 PM on December 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

It was pretty fun. My 10 year old enjoyed. The f word was used once and the knee in the groin was more implied than visible.

It was cheesy in a fun way. I cannot stop saying to my husband "You're beautiful and if anyone tells you different they can go to hell."
posted by k8t at 8:37 PM on December 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this. It was a nice feel-good, not very original movie with a body-positive and feminist twist.

For those who know- how was Jennifer Aniston's Texas accent? It seemed off to me, but I'm not in the position to judge, being a Northeaster.
posted by bearette at 9:23 AM on December 22, 2018

The first drag show I ever went to was in Bakersfield, so the scene where the girls go to the Dolly drag show was delightful.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:42 PM on December 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Just thinking about Jennifer Aniston's Texas accent and Harold Perrineau's drag work, and how both actors are experienced in these ways. It's been a while since I saw The Good Girl, but Aniston is 100% believable as a Texas lady in that one. And then I like Perrineau so much in drag in Romeo + Juliet. And Kathy Najimy's daughter being the one to belt out the devotional songs!! This movie's not perfect, but it was good at playing up the strengths of its well-known actors in a fun way.
posted by witchen at 8:40 PM on January 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

« Older Star Trek: Short Treks: The Br...   |  Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: I'm Not T... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments