Director: Anne Fletcher
This is a very interesting film portraying the struggle one girl feels when her mom does not accept her for who she is. In this particular case, Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald) is considered fat and thus suffers from body shaming in a wider society obsessed with patriarchal duck face beauty types. But that is not the worst part. The worst part is that her mom Rosie (Jennifer Aniston) is a former beauty queen who seems to be embarrassed by her daughter’s looks.
The only person who was looking after Willowdean was her mother’s sister Lucy (Hilliary Begley); however, when Lucy died Willowdean found herself all alone. As an act of protest, she applies for a local beauty pageant that her mom organises and her friends follow in the protest too. Eventually, one fat girl becomes the runner up and thus the film gives a message that beauty can come in all shapes and forms, which is very good. In addition, Willowdean improves their relationship with her mother and the wider society by simply deciding not to care anymore and to see herself as beautiful as she is.
The film is made in a light way and thus entertains as well as educates. Our best friend Jennifer Aniston simply can’t do anything wrong. I never saw her in any series or film where she was not absolutely brilliant, and her ability seems to span different roles, e.g. from Rachel in legendary Friends, a crazy dentist in hilarious ‘Horrible Bosses’, and Along Came Polly (my favourite). She is equally brilliant in this film as a southern mother only interested in her looks and who desperately tries to fit into her prom dress decades later.
Finally, what we can say about this film is that the film is refreshing in its criticism of beauty pageants. It addresses the vanity surrounding these pageants and women who are obsessed with it, but it predominantly focuses on the so-called fat girls and unusual girls and thus shows their personalities and stories. With this, the film shows that beauty comes in many shapes and forms. In addition, this film is another evidence how women enrich every industry they join, for this female director has indeed addressed an old problem in a very effective way whilst not loosing on the entertaining bit.
Definitely worth watching!
Thank you for reading.