Based on Julia Murphy’s best-selling novel of the same name, the film was directed by Anne Fletcher and stars Jennifer Aniston as a former Texas beauty queen, and Danielle Macdonald as her teenage daughter Willowdean Dickson, who signs up for her mum’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant.
The movie is full of hilarity and heart. Here are the six reasons it’s the best film of the year…
#1 JENNIFER ANISTON AND HER TEXAN ACCENT
Jen Aniston is brilliant (and very convincing) as Rosie, a former beauty queen in small-town Texas. No more so than the scene where she has to lie down on the back seat of the car on the way to a pageant and be pulled out by her feet because of her tight dress. Hilarious and relatable.
#2 THE STELLAR SOUNDTRACK
This film is basically an ode to Dolly Parton, so naturally the soundtrack is full of bangers. Parton wrote six original songs for the film and recorded new versions of her classics with Sia and Miranda Lambert. Don’t even try to stop yourself singing along to ‘9 to 5.’ Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition…
#3 THE FEMALE RELATIONSHIPS
At the heart of Dumplin’ is a story of female friendship – in all its complex glory. The relationship between Willowdean and her best friend Ellen is heartwarming, complicated and real. Likewise Willowdean’s relationships with her misfit schoolmates, her loveable aunt and her tricky mother are all genuine and empathetic. So many feels…
Please let me take this moment to be indulgent and shallow. Willowdean’s love interest Bo (played by Luke Benward) is an absolute babe. More than his handsome good looks, you’ll fall in love with his down-to-earth personality. You will melt when he says, “Willowdean Dickson I think you’re beautiful. To hell with anyone else who has ever made you feel less than that.” Damn boy.
#5 THE MESSAGE
There are so many heartwarming and empowering messages in the film about self-love, body-positivity and women supporting women. I physically stood up in my lounge room and clapped when Willowdean said, “Every body is a bikini body.” And again when they recited the Dolly Parton saying, “Figure out who you are and do it on purpose.” Preach it!
#6 DANIELLE MACDONALD, DANIELLE MACDONALD, DANIELLE MACDONALD
I might be biased because I am the number one ticket holder at the official Danielle Macdonald Fan Club™, but the Australian actress steals every scene in Dumplin’. Macdonald is captivating, brave and you’ll want to be her best friend after watching the film (you’ll have to get in line though because I called shotgun in September). Just like she did in last year’s rap film Patti Cake$, Macdonald became her character in Dumplin’: she led a revolution and found her inner strength. She is gold. We’re going to keep re-watching Dumplin’ until Macdonald’s new projects Bird Box and I Am Woman come out later this month and next year.
Dumplin' is streaming on Netflix now.