I just spent the last hour and 50 minutes crying.
Though I constantly find myself frustrated with Netflix’s streaming content, (it just feels like the platform needs more Jake Gyllenhaal movies) there’s no denying the fact that they’ve created some wonderful and enjoyable original content.
Dumplin’ is the latest hit out of the streaming service and having just finished it, I find myself immediately wanting to watch it again. The film stars Jennifer Aniston and Danielle MacDonald. The storyline centers around former pageant Queen, Rosie Dickson (played by Aniston) and her strained relationship with her daughter Willowdean (played by MacDonald).
Although the film is being praised for its progressive body-positive stance, I found the underlying storylines to be the true stand-outs. Don’t get me wrong, the body-positivity was perfectly explored and we’ll get to that in a minute but the film felt full of life lessons. They explored the act of grieving in a such a gentle and painful way that it was difficult to not have your heart ripped out throughout the film. They allowed female friendships to strain while eventually building them back up to be stronger. Plus they gave us romance while not allowing it to take the spotlight.
This film felt like a lovely and emotionally-driven adventure.
To add, I find myself really happy by the addition of Drag Queens in the story line. I love the fact that we have gotten to a point where Drag Queens are being utilized as more than a punchline. Film has started to use Drag Queens as a way to bring heart and acceptance into the story while giving us the perfect amount of comedic relief. Representation matters.
There would be no Dumplin’ review without the mention of body positivity. The running theme of self-acceptance felt a little too close to home. They explored Willowdean’s complicated feelings about herself in such a beautiful way that I instantly remembered all of the times that I’ve been unkind to myself. The exploration of the mother-daughter relationship had me remembering the times my mother and I have been strained; I replayed her comments about my body and recalled how we got to forgiveness.
Maybe the reason why this film is resonating with so many is because there is no makeover montage, there is no before and after transformation; Dumplin’ allows the complicated feelings about ones own body to breath. The movie carries a theme of body positivity without forcing it down your throat. Not only is this a movie about a fat girl who learns to love herself, it’s about reminding us that everyone struggles with their own body and the journey towards loving yourself is one worth taking.
I fell in love with this movie.
Dumplin‘ can be streamed on Netflix, I recommend a box of tissues and a bottle of wine to go along with the film.