Cinderella (2021)

The new “Cinderella” movie gives a very modern take on a classic, with Camila Cabello as the dressmaking heroine.

“Cinderella” was a good movie to watch if you focused mainly on the music and choreography. The writing was cheesy at points, leaning heavily on common tropes, but overall provided a fun watch.

Other reviewers said the movie leans too heavily on feminism and women’s empowerment, but I disagree. It definitely was an important part of the movie, mainly with Cinderella and Princess Gwen’s characters, but in a very lighthearted way. It’s one of the first major movies I have ever seen that gives women both “true love” and a career. The plot centers around Cinderella’s ambition to become a dressmaker in a society that doesn’t allow women to own businesses. Then she meets the prince and has to decide between becoming a dressmaker and marrying the prince.

It was upbeat and modern using all pop songs, which is very clever. There were times where I didn’t love the choice of songs, but overall it was enjoyable to watch. It felt very much like a Broadway production, which is a different style of movie-making, and maybe why the movie has received such bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb.

I do have a couple of frustrations with the movie. It recycles several tired tropes, such as fat-shaming. The fat sister is the meaner one and none of the main love interests are plus size. For being such a diverse cast and new take on the traditional Cinderella story, that was quite a disappointment. It also still uses the “fall in love overnight” trope, which is very frustrating for those of us still living in the real world.

The sibling relationships throughout the movie were fairly accurate. The stepsisters had a very realistic sibling relationship, but the relationship between Prince Robert and Princess Gwen felt very bland and could have been improved.

I wish Princess Gwen’s character would have been elaborated on a bit more. I know that her character was written for comic relief, but she was such an intelligent character that I felt she could have played a bigger role in the movie overall.

As a former theater nerd, it was fun to watch because it felt like watching a musical at a local theater. The movie made some nice, lighthearted fun at theater kids’ expense, and used jokes that many theater kids have made themselves. The dialogue was simple and cheesy.

I also loved the costume design as a whole as the princesses dancing at the ball had beautiful costumes and several even drew inspiration from traditional dresses from around the world. They used the song “Seven Nation Army” and it honestly worked fairly well for the ball scene. The friendship between the prince and his male friends is refreshing to see in the media; it was very positive and didn’t contain toxic masculinity. All the prince’s friends have different accents as well including Scottish, English and American, which confused the history major in me.

Overall, it was a fun movie to watch. It just feels like you are watching a community theater’s take on Cinderella.

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