Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'Queen Sized' movie offers a trite-and-true lesson on bullying

Nikki Blonsky in 'Queen Sized,' about intolerance in high school

the kind for whom just being pretty and popular and getting almost everything they want isn't enough. They also need to belittle people like Maggie, by nominating her for homecoming queen as a humiliating joke.

At first crushed, Maggie listens to friends who tell her to fight back, and eventually she locates her own backbone. She makes a couple of bad mistakes, but she finds something else: a silent pool of people who also resent bullies and will, if given the chance, reject them.

That's a good message, though it doesn't make for a lot of subtlety anywhere in the film. Maggie's eating problem is dramatized, for example, by having her open the freezer and pitch everything onto the floor until she finds her target half-gallon of ice cream.

The best part of the film, by far, is the loving but uneasy relationship between Maggie and her worried and frustrated mother, played by Annie Potts.


An overweight girl, Maggie Baker, is elected Homecoming queen by the mean girls in the high school.

Liz overhears and decides to nominate Maggie as a joke. The joke is on her though as many students get excited about Maggie being the queen, including Tara, who is, of course, nominated herself. Maggie easily collects 160 signatures to put her on the ballot (twice as they are stolen the first time around) and becomes an official nominee. Maggie starts campaigning but gets upset one day when she sees Tara's posters out in the hallway and imagines her mom praising Tara's thinness and beauty. She runs home to find comfort food. Meanwhile Liz vandalizes Tara's posters so the principal will think it's Maggie and take her out of the race. The plan does not work and Tara begins to suspect that her best friend is trying to sabotage Maggie. At voting time Maggie wins Homecoming Queen, and the popular clique is shocked and rudely sit and glare at Maggie, but Tara looks genuinely happy for the plus-sized beauty queen.

It is later revealed that Tara voted for Maggie and not herself. Maggie is bombarded with offers from the press who wish to discuss the experience with her. However, the popular kids are not ready to accept Maggie's win without a fight and plan to get her to resign. Tara's boyfriend Trip (Kyle Russell Clements) and Liz plot to ruin Maggie's homecoming float. When Maggie sits on it the float busts, making it look like Maggie's weight broke it. Tara is outraged and breaks up with Trip. She also discovers that Liz only hangs out with her because she's popular and ends their friendship. The other popular girls stop speaking to Liz as well. Maggie goes on television to discuss her win but comes off sounding rude and ungrateful towards her friends and supporters. She has also been ignoring Casey who has been trying to ask Maggie for advice on whether or not she should consummate her relationship with her now boyfriend.

Angry, Casey spews out some harsh insults and Maggie shoves her into a row of bikes, getting herself suspended. Maggie has alienated from her friends and no longer wishes to be Homecoming Queen although the school tells her she can. Maggie realizes that she plays the victim and that her harshest critic is herself. She decides to go through being Homecoming Queen even though the reception will most likely be bad and asks Louis to be her King. She reconciles with both her mom and Casey who eagerly cheer her on at the game. Although many people boo her a lot of people cheer for her too. Maggie realizes that she not only won Homecoming Queen but she changed herself as well.

No comments: