Posted by on December 6, 2018 2:20 pm
Categories: Newsjones

Strong turns from Aniston and Danielle Macdonald can’t save this conventional pageant saga with music from Dolly Parton

The new Netflix film Dumplin’ – the mawkish, rhinestoned lovechild of Glee, the 1975 beauty pageant satire Smile, and practically any episode of the reality show Chrisley Knows Best – is a big-hearted dramedy about an overweight teenager who finds herself by way of Dolly Parton. As an ode to the Backwoods Barbie, who executive-produced and penned six original songs for the film, Dumplin’ is often good fun, as in a scene where a vivacious group of Texan drag queens perform some of Ms Parton’s greatest hits.

But as a coming-of-age tale, a comedy of southern pageantry, or a story of mother-daughter reconciliation, it is boringly conventional, giving the sensation of having seen it all before, only this time with more glitter and higher hair.

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