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Movie covers big theme of obesity

Queen Sized (Anchor Bay) — This made-for-TV movie now out on DVD takes the issue of fat very seriously. Maggie Baker (Nikki Blonsky famously of Hairspray) is a chubby girl who turns to food when she’s stressed, and that’s quite often, with the pressures of high school life. As is par for the course in these sorts of films, she’s just lost her dad and the pretty girls at school pick on her. One particularly nasty pretty girl, Liz, nominates Maggie for homecoming queen. Instead of dropping out as expected, Maggie runs with the support of her other imperfect classmates and wins. Except for the already mentioned clichés, this is a really refreshing movie that veers from the expected on both writing and storyline. You’ll be thrilled to hear that there’s no love interest truly motivating our main character, the most popular girl in school turns out to be nice, Maggie’s big speech at the end does not receive thunderous applause and the mother-daughter relationship feels as complex as these things are in real life. But it’s the movie’s agenda that’s truly unique: it’s all about fat. It’s a painfully real moment — for any girl of any size — to see Maggie examining herself in the mirror. At times, characters launch into long diatribes that sound like promotional writing for an obesity awareness campaign. These moments don’t work dramatically, but they effectively turn the movie into an examination of body weight and identity. It goes without saying that this is a must-see for any family where such topics are pressing.