Movie Review: We’re Goin Gaga over Dolly Parton’s Dumplin’ pt. 1

By
December 14, 2018

Hey, Y'all! I'm back again with another one of my movie reviews! I'm here to break down Netflix's latest movie Dumplin', a show executively produced by Dolly Parton. It stars Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, and Odeya Rush. It hinges on the banner that there is more to beauty than outward appearance, and that "everybody is a swimsuit body." So, without further ado, let's dive right into it! And a fair warning, spoilers ahead! You have been warned. So, I highly suggest you watch the movie first before reading any of this. I highly doubt you would regret it!

Family Ties

Dumplin' hooks us immediately with the premise that no matter what other people think of Will, she will always be beautiful and she will always be loved. Her aunt Lucy was the one who taught her that idea. She was also the one who introduced her to the magic and brilliance of Dolly Parton and her songs. Throughout the movie, we were peppered with numerous Dolly references and songs. But what struck me the most, was that Lucy used Dolly's songs and images to bolster Will's self-esteem.

But even so, we see that Will still struggled with herself and her self-image. This is exacerbated by the fact that her mother, Rosie, is the ex-titleholder of "Miss Tee Bluebell" - a fact that we see her constantly being engulfed in. It is so much so that we see hints of the strained relationship between her and Will. The death of Lucy wasn't helping the relationship. In fact, the relationship was notably more strained because of the absence of such a strong pillar in the family.

Something Deeper

The movie handles the issue of family relationships really well. We see the constant bickering of Will and Rosie over trivial things. But we are hinted that there is more heartache to their relationship than we initially perceived. There are hints that Will feels neglected by her mother because she spends more time arranging her pageants than attending Will and Lucy's Dolly-themed parties. It is also hinted that Rosie feels like she couldn't connect with her daughter because she doesn't know how and that she idolizes her sister Lucy more than her. Plus, the subtle nuances that both Rosie and Will had different styles of coping with Lucy's death made all the more impact on my heartstrings all that stronger.

The mother and daughter would eventually reconcile over their differences, (through the pageant, no less!). And, it was such a tender moment to have them start their bonding with each other by fully coming into terms with the passing of Lucy. We see Rosie finally accepting Will for who she is, and for Will to let in her mom in the grief that she discovered that they both share.

Stay tuned for the next parts of my review!