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Please, Oh Please Let Netflix’s Dumplin’ Be as Good as It Looks

The first trailer for Netflix’s original movie Dumplin‘ just dropped and against my better judgment, oh boy am I excited for this.

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Dumplin’ is based on Julie Murphy’s much-beloved YA novel of the same name. Willowdean (Patti Cakes’ Danielle Macdonald) is the unapologetically fat daughter of a small-town former beauty queen (Jennifer Aniston) whose entire life still revolves around pageants. When Willow–dubbed “Dumplin'” by her mom–signs up for the pageant as a protest, she unintentionally inspires other plus-size or otherwise “unconventional” girls to do the same and, according to the official synopsis, “revolutioniz[es] the pageant and their small Texas town.”

Earlier this year, Netflix missed the body positivity mark by a lot with Insatiable. (Hence that “better judgment” comment.) They fell into every possible pitfall of body-shaming humor and then claimed “censorship” when critics and audiences called them out for it. From their first fat-suit misstep, these creators insisted they wanted to poke fun at body-shaming tropes, but they clearly didn’t know the difference between presenting an idea and satirizing it.

Dumplin’, though, has the potential to be better than that. The writing/directing team is made up of women (Anne Fletcher and Kristin Hahn), and if they stay close to Murphy’s original work in their adaptation, they could make something great.

This is the sort of trailer that appears to show you pretty much the whole plot, but it looks moving and funny as hell. Jennifer Aniston, especially, is absolutely hilarious here. Also, Dolly Parton composed an original song for the movie, and there is genuinely no other endorsement I need for a film.

What do you all think? Are you excited for Dumplin’? (Which airs, by the way, on Netflix and in select theaters–interesting!–on December 7th.)

(image: screencap)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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