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Dumplin' (2018)


Armchair Critic
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Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald take on the pageant world, to a Dolly Parton soundtrack, in this Netflix film.

 At first I had some trouble with it because it seemed more like a made for tv movie, the actors playing Dumplin' and Bo look older than high school kids, and every time I see Harold Perrineau I think "Waaaaaaaaalt". But once I got into it I enjoyed it, it's a feel good movie.

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I just watched it and absolutely loved it. It is a feel good movie and I got  teary eyed from Willow’s talent portion of the beauty pageant until the very end. IF a movie can make get teary then it’s a good movie in my book. Good acting by everyone too. 

I didn’t realize Kathy Najimy played  Millie’s mother until they rolled the credits. It was nice to see her again as back in the day she was one of my favorite actresses. 

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9 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

I liked this too.  It managed to avoid a lot of the mistakes Sierra Burgess Is A Loser made while telling the same message of a flawed lead and acceptance.  Plus, Dolly music never hurts.

Yes!

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I read the book a few years ago so I don't remember all the details, but I'd swear that there was a lot more of Willowdean's relationship with Bo in the book. If I'm remembering that correctly, I actually like that they pared that down so that the movie could focus on Willowdean and the other girls.

Although there were some things here and there that I felt could have been improved, I thought this was a sweet movie with a positive and uplifting message. I enjoyed watching it and would recommend it to just about anyone.

The actress playing Willowdean was great. I hope we get to see her in more projects soon. Between her hair color and some of her facial expressions, she reminded me of Merritt Wever. They need to be cast as sisters in something!

Fun fact that I learned from IMDB: she was supposed to play Becca on Huge (which I loved) but her visa didn't come through in time.

I don't know if Netflix is planning to make a sequel, but the second book focuses on Millie and Callie (Willowdean is more of a secondary character, but she's still around). I thought the actress playing Millie did a great job. Callie is more of an unknown since she wasn't given much to do in the movie.

I recognized the girl who played Hannah from Arrow, but I just saw that she was on House of Lies. I did not remember that she played Roscoe's friend Lex!

On 12/7/2018 at 2:20 AM, Armchair Critic said:

every time I see Harold Perrineau I think "Waaaaaaaaalt"

Seeing him all dolled up at the club reminded me of the party scene in Romeo + Juliet. I loved him in that movie (he was much more entertaining as Mercutio than he was as Michael).

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On ‎12‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 10:23 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

 

The actress playing Willowdean was great. I hope we get to see her in more projects soon. Between her hair color and some of her facial expressions, she reminded me of Merritt Wever. .

Danielle Macdonald has a small role in the latest Netflix film that just dropped yesterday called Bird Box(it was really good!) but I first saw her in the critically acclaimed indie film, Patti Cake$. She was very good in that playing a girl from Jersey who wants to be a rap star. I couldn't believe she is Australian, she does a great American accent. Yet again I was fool buy another non-American doing a flawless accent.

Dumplin was a sweet little movie. The kind they don't make anymore.  I enjoyed it.  I couldn't think of where I'd seen the actress who played one of the friends(the tough,oddball one) then I realized I'd seen her on the MTV series Scream. She reminds me of Pamela Adlon,they could be sisters.

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On 12/12/2018 at 10:23 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I read the book a few years ago so I don't remember all the details, but I'd swear that there was a lot more of Willowdean's relationship with Bo in the book. If I'm remembering that correctly, I actually like that they pared that down so that the movie could focus on Willowdean and the other girls.

That's interesting.  I did think the Bo stuff was a bit underdeveloped, but I'm glad they focused on the girls and the pageant.  I wish they could have done a miniseries.  I always think those work better for book adaptations.

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That was a really sweet movie, glad that I took the time to check it out! And now 9-5 is probably going to be stuck in my head all weekend. At least its a break from the never ending chorus of Christmas tunes in my head currently. 

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On 12/12/2018 at 10:23 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Seeing him all dolled up at the club reminded me of the party scene in Romeo + Juliet. I loved him in that movie (he was much more entertaining as Mercutio than he was as Michael).

Me too, and I agree, Mercutio is one of his best performances. I was a kid when that movie came out but I appreciate his Mercutio more as I've gotten older.

I was familiar with the book but haven't read it. I thought the movie was very sweet. I loved the relationship between Willowdean and Ellen, and among the four pageant "misfits." When the one with short hair gave Willowdean a little spin during the opening number, I smiled. Same with when Millicent sang "High and Mighty" and the one with short hair gave her a giant hug backstage, and when she won first runner up and Willowdean cheered. The actress who played Willowdean was great.

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On 12/21/2018 at 11:57 PM, Valny said:

Danielle Macdonald has a small role in the latest Netflix film that just dropped yesterday called Bird Box(it was really good!) but I first saw her in the critically acclaimed indie film, Patti Cake$. She was very good in that playing a girl from Jersey who wants to be a rap star. I couldn't believe she is Australian, she does a great American accent. Yet again I was fool buy another non-American doing a flawless accent.

This is what I first saw her in, also. Every time I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I have to sing, "P, B and J...P, P, B and J..." I love Patti Cake$ so much.

This movie was just about perfect.

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On 12/7/2018 at 8:50 PM, Straycat80 said:

I just watched it and absolutely loved it. It is a feel good movie and I got  teary eyed from Willow’s talent portion of the beauty pageant until the very end. IF a movie can make get teary then it’s a good movie in my book. Good acting by everyone too. 

I didn’t realize Kathy Najimy played  Millie’s mother until they rolled the credits. It was nice to see her again as back in the day she was one of my favorite actresses. 

I thought she looked familiar!

We watched this last night and I loved it!

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On 12/21/2018 at 11:57 PM, Valny said:

Danielle Macdonald has a small role in the latest Netflix film that just dropped yesterday called Bird Box(it was really good!) but I first saw her in the critically acclaimed indie film, Patti Cake$. She was very good in that playing a girl from Jersey who wants to be a rap star. I couldn't believe she is Australian, she does a great American accent. Yet again I was fool buy another non-American doing a flawless accent.

Dumplin was a sweet little movie. The kind they don't make anymore.  I enjoyed it.  I couldn't think of where I'd seen the actress who played one of the friends(the tough,oddball one) then I realized I'd seen her on the MTV series Scream. She reminds me of Pamela Adlon,they could be sisters.

Bex Taylor-Klaus. I think that's where I first saw her - Scream. No, it was that AMC show, about a teenage girl that was murdered. She was a homeless girl who got killed, I think. And iZombie - a teenager who knew something about a murder.

I'm watching this right now, because I've been feeling depressed, and am not feeling great. I remembered the comments here. I've just seen Harold Perrineau - didn't recognize him at first. I love him, and he was great here. I saw him as a parent, as well as the character, and love that he connected with her over her aunt, who they both loved. 

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Not at all something I would have picked -- A beauty pageant? Lightweight Aniston flick? Pass! -- and indeed I'd passed over Netflix's suggestion of it several times. But a friend posted about it so I watched the trailer. And then the movie. It was sweet, in a good way. Glad I watched.

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I tend to avoid Jennifer Aniston movies but I watched this and loved it. I am a Dolly fan but not as deep as these girls. It really was great to see a movie with girls rooting for each other instead of trying to bring each other down. Completely in love with this movie..and I cheered like mad at the "every body is a swimsuit body"..

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I really loved this little movie - it was so gentle and sweet without being too saccharine and "Hallmarky". I liked that it was about female friendship. Danielle MacDonald is a super-talented actress, and I'm really happy to see her popping up all over the place (and yes, she pulls off a flawless American accent - I never would have guessed in a million years that she's Australian).

The supporting players were all fantastic too - the actress who played Millie did a great job. I'm a middle-aged old bat, so I don't usually drool over young guys in movies, but I thought the actor who played Bo was positively dreamy.

Not a country music fan at all, but I really loved the new song Dolly wrote for the film "The Girl in The Movies". Really, how can you NOT love a movie that basically has Dolly Parton as its spirit animal?

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On 12/12/2018 at 7:23 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I read the book a few years ago so I don't remember all the details, but I'd swear that there was a lot more of Willowdean's relationship with Bo in the book. If I'm remembering that correctly, I actually like that they pared that down so that the movie could focus on Willowdean and the other girls.

I just watched this last night - because of Dolly Parton - and initially thought it would have been even better without the romance with Bo, but then decided that would have been a bad look because any movie with a skinny girl in the lead role would have gone there, so it would give the impression the reason there was no romantic storyline was her size.  I would not have wanted any more of their relationship - hers with her friends (old and new), with herself, and with her mom were all much more interesting and important - so I'm glad they pared down from what was in the source material.

I had zero expectations going in, as I'd never heard of it (I just saw Dolly's name in the description as I was browsing Netflix while cat-sitting at my parents' house, and figured why not), and came away quite charmed by it.  I don't buy that a beauty pageant - in Texas, no less - would really be so accepting of these non-traditional contestants, and I still hate beauty pageants, but I was happy to visit this alternate universe for a bit.  I love that none of "our" girls won the pageant - and that Willowdean was disqualified altogether - because a lot of movies would force it.  Millie is a character who would annoy me in 9 out of 10 movies, so kudos to the writer, director, and actor for instead making her someone I liked. 

Oh, and when Willowdean came in to see her mom (about being disqualified) and we could see that her mom's dress wasn't zipped up, I knew it wasn't going to fit and she was going to wind up in something from the drag queen, but the predictability didn't stop me from getting a laugh out of it.

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On 4/8/2019 at 1:01 PM, Bastet said:

I just watched this last night - because of Dolly Parton - and initially thought it would have been even better without the romance with Bo, but then decided that would have been a bad look because any movie with a skinny girl in the lead role would have gone there, so it would give the impression the reason there was no romantic storyline was her size.  I would not have wanted any more of their relationship - hers with her friends (old and new), with herself, and with her mom were all much more interesting and important - so I'm glad they pared down from what was in the source material.

It was better done in the book than the movie (somewhat unavoidable because a lot of the book was reading her thoughts) but her relationship with Bo was really the impetus for her journey.  Like, she was always super secure, and then starting to get physical with him led her to start feeling insecure, which then led her to do the pageant to "reclaim" her self esteem, so to speak.  

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