As you know, I read Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy and it wasn’t my favorite book. I liked just about all of the characters other than Willowdean, and though the writing was good, it just wasn’t for me. After reading it, I watched Dumplin’ on Netflix.
The movie follows the same basic plot as the book; Willowdean Dixon wants to get back at her pageant winning mom by competing in the pageant. She doesn’t prepare and has to deal with the consequences.
I enjoyed watching the movie. I think there were some great casting choices, except Bo (he looked way too old for the role, even though he’s 23). I really had a good time watching it, and appreciated that Willowdean put in more effort at the end. But I still didn’t like her.
Sometimes I forget that when reading and watching young adult content, these characters are teenagers. I didn’t care for Willowdean because she acts that part; a teenager! She’s bratty and thinks that everything has to go the way she says. I feel like the movie helped remind me of that, but I also think there was more growth on her part than in the book.
I enjoyed watching Dumplin’ far more than I enjoyed reading it, but I do recommend that anyone who wants to watch It, reads it first. There are many nuances that fleshed out the story a lot more in the book, and you only get snippets of them in the movie. Also, there’s a lot more depth to Bo in the book.
If you’ve got Netflix, you can watch Dumplin’! Just be ready for a Dolly Parton soundtrack, and girls who do what they want.
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