Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Cinderella Story (2004) Review:

There are many ways to tell a story, but only a few of them work as an original piece. It's an odd saying, but it's possible. This version of Cinderella does perform well with updating the material. Yet, every part was still predictable. I don't see the connection. The scenes were original but the order that they came in, were too obvious. How did writer Leigh Dunlap miss that?

Awww...such a gentleman
The story of this movie runs fairly parallel to its predecessors. An attractive female is bullied and annoyed by her stepfamily and "more popular" people in high school. That is, until she runs into the guy of her dreams. Playing the "Cinderella" character (Sam Montgomery), who works constantly at her father's diner, is Hilary Duff. Duff was a great choice because of her girly figure and innocent voice. Her prince charming is Chad Michael Murray and he's also a good choice because of his masculine build and gentle voice. Not to mention, both Duff and Murray look lovely together.

The goof of the film (Byrd)
The rest of the co-stars are wonderful additions too. Dan Byrd is funny as Sam's close friend due to how prone he is at getting himself in awkward situations. Even Sam's diner co-workers have their great moments too. And it's great to see that they are there to support her as well. Jennifer Coolidge was an accurate choice for Sam's stepmother. One of the best parts is when she's swerving on the road and can't show an upset face because her botox treatment did not wear off yet. How embarrassing! And the stepsisters are no better either.

The whole idea of having the original story modernized was an ample touch. Instead of having a fairy godmother and being magically given a dress, she's given a gorgeous dress from a close friend at work. Rather than having the magic spell dissipate, Sam had a timer of when to let her know that she had to leave the dance. And in place of the glass slipper that was left behind, was her cell phone. All the substitutions were amusing to see because they made Sam have an exact "Cinderella" story but without the magic.

The music by Christophe Beck was a nice addition as well. His ability to create the feelings for when they are needed is done pleasingly. One other thing I didn't see possible though was how Murray's character was able to set up search and rescue fliers for the "Cinderella" character that he danced with. Doesn't he have classes? I mean he is a teenager and he's looking for his date but schools don't allow match findings to become public on school walls. How did he get away with that? Is that he that good looking?

The transitions between scenes are quite obvious but the direction is great as a modernized rendition. The characters are welcoming, as is the way the plot follows through.

Points Earned --> 9:10

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