The Netflix telemovie starring Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald is here, but what's the verdict?
- byClare Rigden
As mentioned in this week's episode of WHO's TV podcast, Binge List, we weren't able to talk about new Netflix movie Dumplin' ahead of its arrival on the streaming platform, but now it's dropped, here is our review ...
There have been a slew of fantastic teen flicks on streaming services of late - To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before arrived earlier this year, quickly becoming a modern classic - and now Jennifer Aniston, of all people, is bringing the next.
The Friends star is the creative force behind this delightful coming-of-age tale about a plain Jane, plus-sized, Dolly Parton-obsessed teen girl, Willowdean (played by Aussie actress Danielle Macdonald), who enters a beauty pageant as a way to feel closer to her recently deceased aunty - and to get back at her own “perfect” beauty queen mum, played by Aniston.
It’s got all the elements for a fantastic flick - fabulously drawn characters (Macdonald as Willowdean, or ‘Dumplin’ as her mum likes to call her, is a brilliant new talent); a great, believable plot; all the best Dolly Parton hits (and a few extra she wrote especially for the film); and a sweet little romantic side-story that will have every teen heart melting.
The cast is amazing. Newcomer Luke Benward plays Dumplin’s love interest and he has more than a passing resemblance to Brad Pitt - a star is born! It also features Odeya Rush (Ladybird) and RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Ginger Minge, who steals every scene she’s in.
Aniston recently said she was drawn to producing this story, based on the young adult novel by Julie Murphy, because she identified with Willowdean’s own struggles - her own mum, Nancy Dow, was a beauty queen and Aniston says she never felt she added up to Dow’s idea of what her daughter should be.
This is a film with real heart - a delight from start to finish and an absolute summer must-see. 4.5 stars
To hear what else is coming to TV and streaming this summer, check out the new episode of Binge List (below).
Clare RigdenClare Rigden is a freelance journalist, based in Melbourne. When she's not writing for WHO magazine, she can be found roaming the globe with her partner and 4 year-old son, a seasoned traveller who loves nothing more than popping on his yellow ‘bee backpack’ and hitting the road with mum.