In recent years, we've been bombarded with movies and TV shows (not to mention news items) about beauty pageants and the people involved. Netflix's latest offering in the category is Dumplin', in which Jennifer Aniston stars as Rosie, a former Texas beauty queen focused far more on recreating that success as head of her local pageant than on the titular Dumplin', her daughter Willowdean, played by Patti Cake$'s Danielle Macdonald, who has exactly zero interest in participating in her mother's favorite pastime.
According to the official synopsis, after the death of Rosie's sister, Willowdean's favorite aunt, Dumplin' feels more alone than ever in their isolated small-town Texas community and attempts to distract herself by defying her mother and entering the Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant. As is to be expected in a Hollywood production—helmed by 27 Dresses and The Proposal director Anne Fletcher, no less—an idea that starts as an irreverent stunt soon turns into a full-on "journey of self-discovery" for Dumplin', helped along by her best friend Ellen (Lady Bird's Odeya Rush), a few drag queen mentors (including Harold Perrineau and Ginger Minj), and her spirit guide Dolly Parton, who collaborated with artists like Sia, Mavis Staples, and Miranda Lambert to produce revamped versions of several of her hits for the film.
As seen in the film's official trailer, which dropped Wednesday, Willowdean's initial relationship with her mother primarily revolves around her shuttling Rosie back and forth to pageants since, of course, the tiara-wearing Rosie can't risk wrinkling her dress by sitting upright in a car seat. Once Dumplin' embarks on her plan to enter the pageant, though she claims not to be the "Joan of Arc of fat girls," she inspires others outside the pageant's usual contestant pool to enter as well. And while, as the protest goes on, Willowdean starts to doubt herself, she's bucked up by Perrineau, who quotes Parton: "Figure out who you are, and do it on purpose." Dumplin' proceeds to strut her stuff on the pageant stage, queuing up a tear-jerking mother-daughter moment between Willowdean and Rosie—despite Rosie's best attempts to preserve her makeup.
Watch the full trailer for Dumplin', which hits Netflix on December 7, below.
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