Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
There’s a makeover montage in Dumplin’, and it’s a lulu. It is overseen by drag queens who specialize in doing Dolly Parton, and it doesn’t get any more extra than that. Like so much in this film, this makeover comes with a refreshingly smart, funny, wise, and warmhearted twist.
Lessons about loving oneself, accepting one’s faults, and being the best version of yourself are cheesy, but not without purpose. Call it cinematic comfort food, but Dumplin' knows how to satisfy.
Dumplin’ sometimes takes the easy road.... But there’s so much more to enjoy, from the nuanced work by Jennifer Aniston that ensures Rosie’s never a caricature of a pageant mom; to the warm and natural best-buddy chemistry between Danielle MacDonald and Odeya Rush; to that instant classic of a soundtrack courtesy of Ms. Parton, with a little help from her friends.
A big heart and strong cast go a long way towards elevating its prosaic approach.
Slant Magazine
As it proceeds through a series of teary reconciliations in the last half-hour of its 110-minute run time, the film's didactic drama begins to grate, its treacly emotions feeling increasingly unearned.
Kristin Hahn’s script gives Will sassy lines and too many tears, but the filmmakers never give this character a real, searching, complex inner life. They give her problems to solve, hurdles to clear. They turn emotional complexity into affirmations and a potentially transformational character into a you-go-girl cliché.
For all the ways Dumplin’ does its best to avoid some clichés (no mean-girl antagonists) while embracing others (drag queens as coaches), it’s still a regrettably undercooked meal, even with those songs and the breezy magnetism of “Patti Cakes” star Macdonald.
Too often the film loudly announces its noble intentions with slogans instead of dialogue.
Director Anne Fletcher has made better rom-coms, like The Proposal, but they had better scripts. Written by producer Kristin Hahn, Dumplin’ clings timidly to its YA roots, which are firmly on the unsophisticated side of the spectrum.
A movie so lifeless you’d have more fun guessing the Netflix niche group that the production is supposed to satisfy.

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