I cannot resist an “A Cinderella Story” movie. Not that they’re good, of course, but they are entertaining in one way or another. Here are the ones I have watched or am aware of, ranked from my fave to my least fave.
- The Lucy Hale one – I fucking love this one. The cast all do an amazing job, from the impeccable Hale herself to the woman playing the assistant principal. The thing I love most about this movie, other than Hale and Pyle’s amazing performances, which alone would make the movie pretty good, are the step-siblings. Hale’s character Katie sums it up pretty well, when she says of her stepbrother (paraphrasing here): “What can you expect? Look at his family.” Both Megan Park and Matthew Lintz do a great job playing monsters, realistic given their upbringing, who just need some different, more positive influences to realize they can be their own person. Honestly, I find the hope inherent in their storyline to be uplifting and it’s done in a realistic way. Also, this movie includes a chainsaw-wielding musical act at a high school showcase, an act so irresponsible, unbelievable and over-the-top, how can your heart not melt?
- The Laura Marano one – The music in this movie is generally subpar, the dancing is very toddler dance recital and generally done in elf costumes. But Marano and her love interest are likeable actors with that charisma that makes a movie that’s probably kind of terrible still compelling to watch. Even my husband thought so, and did not chide me for trying it out when we could have spent the time watching an episode of Father Brown.
- The Hilary Duff one – The original, but not favorite. Duff is… Fine. The storyline that you are responsible because you want to go to college is overdone and, frankly, looking at the American student debt crisis, not necessarily true or helpful. Interestingly, this original Cinderella story featured a girl who was supposed to be pretty normal, unlike the ones afterward, which insisted that if you are special and have terrible family, you can work hard and make it in entertainment, because Hollywood is nothing if not constantly lying and endorsing nepotism.
- The Bailee Madison one – this one’s opening accurately captures the schizophrenic appearance of a chick who consistently talks to animals and elevates it by showing our protagonist playing BOTH PARTS of the iconic The Notebook scene. She also does a bunch of farm chores in a sundress, with a psychotic smile on her face, because that’s how a true Cinderella masks a grimace, I guess. She also single-handedly runs the ranch she lives on, and is the only person to make everyone food, and we’re supposed to believe that after all of that work, she has the time and energy to audition for a movie. (Um… no.) Mixing Twelfth Night with elements of a Hallmark movie, this movie is a hot mess that is slightly enjoyable, but I think Bailee Madison is just a smidge too earnest. If this movie was all camp, it would be so much more fun.
- The Selena Gomez one – I actually haven’t seen this one, just commercials or something. I find the idea that there is a one-way mirror in a dance classroom incredibly creepy, though.
I think there are at least 1 or 2 additional movies. Have you seen all of these, or would you rather watch a British mystery? What do you think of my ratings? If you agree, you’re a genius. If you disagree, you’re wrong (… just kidding). Either way, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!