Dumplin’ is the most emotionally true film about being a fat girl I have ever seen.

That means it’s excruciatingly painful – in all the right places, and in just the right ways. Because some of us have been exactly there, in that place, for that reason, and this film gets that place and that reason and that feeling exactly right.

Trust me, that happens … rarely.

But Dumplin’ is also a narrative of redemption. And – oddly, perhaps – it seems to me also to get the redemption just right. It’s rooted in wisdom, love, and loyalty; it surfaces in the unlikeliest of places; in the end it takes the form of becoming free to love beyond one’s self-imposed limits, to pursue relationship.

You have to be willing to watch a comedy about a Texas teen beauty pageant. Last night, we decided we could handle that. I’m glad we did.

Dumplin’ is sufficiently queer that it might not be for everyone, but: it passes the Bechdel test; it features a terrific, non-mocking, white gospel music performance; there’s lots of Dolly Parton music; the characters are likeable; Jennifer Aniston delivers arguably her best performance ever; and the profundity sneaks up on you, like, in the shower the next day.

Five stars from this fat girl reviewer, for what it’s worth.

Dumplin’ is currently screening on Netflix.


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