The feel-good film you've been looking for has officially landed on UK Netflix. No, it's not a Christmas movie (which is in this case is no bad thing). This gem is a welcome relief from these cold, dark winter nights. Dumplin' has the sweetness of To All The Boys I Loved Before, the mother-daughter dynamics of Patti Cake$, and an entirely new Dolly Parton soundtrack.
Dumplin' opens in a small Texas town where summer is long, gossip spreads fast, and the annual teen pageant is as big of a deal as the Superbowl. Willowdean Dickson (a charming as ever Danielle McDonald) grew up in the shadow of that pageant. Her steely, superficial mother, Rosie (an excellent Jennifer Aniston, maybe you've heard of her), is the former champion and current pageant organiser, and never made her plus-size daughter feel welcome in that space. In an act of rebellion, Willow decides to go there. She enters the pageant.
Could we be seeing these actors together again? There's a chance Dumplin' is the start of a new universe, with follow-up films to come? The movie is adapted from Julie Murphy's 2015 YA novel of the same name. Dumplin's characters live on in Murphy's follow-up novel, Puddin', which turns Dumplin' supporting character Millie Michalchuk (Maddie Baillio) into a leading lady. With any luck, any follow-ups will feature the same cast.