‘Dumplin’ underlying message wins praise of audience

Dumplin character on stage

Dumplin character on stage

[email protected]

With cold weather around the corner, it’s time for movies that are almost as comforting as coffee (and just as sweet!). Though it’s been around for a while, Dumplin’ is a perfect blend of lighthearted romance, humor, Dolly Parton references—and, of course, a splash of drama. While the plot and conflicts are predictable in a way that almost all contemporary young adult movies are, Dumplin’ makes up for it by twisting clichés and having great visuals (the characters are competing in a beauty pageant, after all). The characters push past perceptions and overcome challenges as they struggle to discover who they are and how they want to be seen by family, friends, the community, and (gasp!) themselves.

The movie follows Willowdean Dickson, a high schooler grieving the loss of her aunt, who had passed away from a health issue related to her weight. This causes tension between her mother, who had lost weight when she was younger and became a beauty queen, and Willowdean, who is plus-sized and hates the annual pageants. But, when Willowdean finds a completed entry form from a previous pageant her aunt had filled out but never turned in, the plot is set into motion…

If you enjoy fluffy movies with a feel-good ending (over Fall Break, perhaps?), then this movie might just be worth giving it a (espresso) shot.