Queen Sized feels like a Lifetime movie made for MTV. The film’s editing is ridiculous – showy swooshing transitions carry viewers from one scene to the next, and the characters are pretty much all impossible to relate with.
It’s about Maggie (Blonsky, of Hairspray), an overweight girl who has more wrong with her than just physically. Her father was also overweight and died of diabetes as a result. Maggie’s mother loves her daughter very much and is extremely concerned about her weight. Wouldn’t you be if your husband died because of complications which arose due to his weight? Maggie doesn’t understand this, though, because she has severe mental issues that need to be dealt with immediately. No matter how much her mother reinforces the fact that she is simply concerned about her daughter’s health, Maggie only hears, “You’re fat and I hate you.” No, I mean, she literally hears that: she imagines her mother wearing a slinky black dress and insulting her constantly. These imaginary bits provide actress Annie Potts (Ghostbusters) with a chance to over-act splendidly.
No matter what you say to Maggie, she takes it as a fat joke. She is extremely sensitive. So when a group of girls bully her by adding her name to the Homecoming Queen nominations list, she surprises them all by agreeing to continue the contest. She wins, by the way. Oops, spoiler alert? Oh wait, it’s in the opening scene – no big deal. Maggie’s friends all rally behind her, but she is blind to the fact that there are actually people (her mother included) who do not see her as just a “fat girl”. She actually may be the only person who sees herself that way.
From there the story is pretty rote, as Maggie wins over the whole school by being the underdog, or at least by not being the mean girls. There are a couple of kind of uncomfortable scenes where we hear black girls mm-hmming their opinions about the Homecoming competition from behind closed bathroom stalls. There’s a fantastic moment where Maggie tries to get a heavier girl with piercings and blue hair to join in her crusade. “I just thought that you, of all people, would be willing to help me,” Maggie says in surprise when she is turned down. This is perhaps the one moment when the movie takes a step back and realizes that even Maggie herself has her prejudices.
But then it seems we’re back to making excuses for her. The only time she really has to face any repercussions to her actions is when she starts gaining notoriety and forgets the friends who got her there. But even then, the idea is just about giving credit where it is due and not about getting some professional help for your mental problems or at least just getting over yourself. Maggie’s mom is supposed to be a social worker, but she doesn’t seem to understand anything about her daughter’s social behavior. Maybe it’s just too close to home for her to recognize.
And so on. There’s nothing particularly exciting here. Most of the characters are flat or obnoxious and the story is mostly predictable. There are a few instances where the editing goes from irritatingly MTV-esque and straight into glaring mistakes. Take, for example, a moment where Maggie’s mother is answering a phone. From standing in the kitchen behind her daughter, there is a quick cut and suddenly she is standing next to her. Things like that are too easy to spot to just leave in a finished film.
In other news, Lily Holleman co-stars (which is kinda the entire reason I watched this movie) and she does a pretty good job of it.
All in all, Queen Sized was ridiculous, but mostly enjoyable. I didn’t sympathize much with Maggie, but I still enjoyed watching her terrorize everybody around her; and I liked being the only person who could recognize the pain that she really was. The plot was dumb, of course, and I couldn’t help but laugh at how everybody was just dying to get into South Carolina University. But other than that, it was just a harmless little flick. Okay.
P.S. This is spoiler: the nicest girl in the movie turns out to be, yes, the mean girl! Shock! I do wish that this was meant as more of a statement than just a twist, though.
This review was written 02/10/2010.