If the Shoe Fits: Review of “Cinderella”

That is one dark, foreboding sky.

That is one dark, foreboding sky.

Rated PG, 105 minutes (watched 3/14/15)

While standing in line to see Disney’s live-action remake of Cinderella (and there was a line), a woman corralled by the velvet ropes took her place behind us, kids in tow. She was holding a large pizza.

In what I’m positive must have been a first for the teenagers working at the theater, they politely explained to the woman that outside food or drink was not allowed. I confess that yours truly has been known to  smuggle a package of candy in my pocket, but at least I have the common courtesy to hide it. Heck, I went to a movie once and the woman in front of me opened her purse to reveal a dozen tacos. At least she paid lip service to the rules and waited ’til the lights went down to reveal her crunchy stash. THIS WOMAN BROUGHT AN ENTIRE PIZZA STILL IN THE PIZZA HUT BOX.  She pretended not to speak English (at least I think she was pretending) and the employees actually mimed to get their point across. They did offer her a free locker where she could stash her pizza, which is pretty noble of them. I am very curious to know how it fit into the locker. It did smell delicious though. Perhaps this is a guerilla marketing campaign by Pizza Hut?

How does this pertain to Cinderella? I’m not sure. I could probably create a metaphor linking the movie and the imprisoned, contraband pizza. Something along the lines of:  this version of the classic is warmed over and lacks freshness, but in the end, hey, it’s pizza – so yes, I’ll have a slice. Of course you’re getting into food safety issues since the locker isn’t refrigerated, and while I didn’t love Cinderella, I doubt it’s going to give anyone food poisoning. You know what? Let’s just back up and start over:

Rated PG, 105 minutes (watched 3/14/15)

I’m probably a little outside the target demographic for a live action remake of this Disney remake of Cinderella. The girls in the audience that are the target demo seemed to love it. But just because I’m not a seven-year-old girl in costume (several were clearly dressed as Elsa, which makes tons of sense) doesn’t mean this movie shouldn’t have to be better. It’s not bad, it’s just… there.

Lily James as ‘Ella is pretty, but smiles blankly as she takes her abuse. Oh, and she’s obsessed with butterflies. How is that for character development? Cate Blanchette is well-cast as the wicked stepmother, and she and the script actually threaten to give some sympathetic back story. Sadly, they stop just short. The step-sisters are exactly as they appear in the 1950 cartoon. The prince (Richard Madden) gets a smidgen more story, but he is still as generic as generic can be. Yawn.

It’s been probably 20 years since I’ve seen the animated classic, so I’m most likely giving it too much credit. Still, there’s a reason it’s endured. I remember loving two things about Cinderella back in the day: the mice and the music. The mice are back – including everyone’s favorite, Gus Gus – but they lack the charm of their animated ancestors. Missing too is the music. What good is a Cinderella without a rousing chorus of Bippity Boppity Boo?

Speaking of boos, boppities and bippities, the transformation scene with Cinderella’s fairy god mother – played by Helena Bonham Cater – is the only one I can truly say I enjoyed. It is a fun reinterpretation with just enough whimsy and differences from the original. For example, when Gus Gus is magicked into a magnificent white charger, he maintains his comically over-sized ears in his horse form.  Where was this fun the rest of the movie?

cinderella tix

All that’s wonderful, but what’s the movie’s grade? I’m in a hurry here, buddy.
Sigh. 2/5

Where do I know that guy from?
Lily James is on Downton Abbey, one of the “Golden Age of Television” dramas I’m missing out on. Maybe I’ll get to it someday. I still haven’t even started Breaking Bad!

What is the star’s spirit animal?
A robin.

What color socks are you wearing right now?
Ha, they’re tan, but they’re actually mismatched. Don’t tell anyone!

Spoiler alert!
We find out the meaning behind Cinderella’s name. Sadly, we do NOT find out why the glass slipper doesn’t disappear at midnight. This has always bothered me.

Megan’s Take:
She reports that it was perfectly forgettable. She, too, liked Helena Bonham Carter’s scene and thought it was the only saving grace. 2/5.

Heard any good jokes lately?
Knock knock.
Who’s there?
I love Doctor.
I love Doctor Who?
I love Doctor Who too!

Snacks eaten:
We went to the 4 p.m. showing, so we avoided snacks because dinner was right around the corner. Smokehouse BBQ in Columbia is a much better restaurant than Cinderella is movie.

Unrelated Word of the Day:
Diapause : noun \DYE-uh-pawz\ Definition: a period of physiologically enforced dormancy between periods of activity. Example: Although insects most often enter diapause when they are pupae, diapause can occur during any life stage.

Would the movie have been any better with the addition of Morgan Freeman as narrator?
There is a narrator (the fair godmother), but she is wholly useless.

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