Based on the bestselling book, Dumplin’ will join Miss Congeniality, Little Miss Sunshine, and Drop Dead Gorgeous in the vaunted category of fish-out-of-water fashion show movies. Following an unlikely beauty queen and her rigid mother, the film will follow Willa Dead Dixon’s (Danielle MacDonald) debut on the pageant stage. The world of beauty queens and comically harmless talents is perhaps easy to lampoon, but its transformation into an absurd parody is eternally a fresh source of catharsis.
Dumplin’ will look good, feel good, and feature a lot of entertaining musical and performance pieces. This trailer alone suggests the comic potential of Jennifer Aniston playing Jennifer Aniston, to the extent that she risks outshining the likeable and plucky Danielle MacDonald. If director Anne Fletcher is smart, she’s limited Aniston’s screen time and focused on the ballad of Will. Chances are that Will herself will undergo a certain amount of personal growth in pursuit of her dreams. Whenever a girl walks into a drag bar on screen, you know that the film is about to get into RuPaul territory, where there’s a lot of “real talk” and challenges to certain conservative, small-town Southern assumptions. Mothers will be horrified, standards of beauty will be realigned, and MacDonald will put in a great performance. Based on its trailer, Dumplin’ will be a lot of fun to watch.
Dumplin’ will be released on December 7, 2018, on Netflix.