Cinderella: Quick Take Review
Sometimes you just want a fairy tale to be a fairy tale. Cinderella has to be the most adapted fairy tale in the history of film. There are many versions of it to treasure (in fact, I did a whole series on this just a few years ago examining all the different adaptations), and quite a few that leave something to be desired. The most recent adaptation by Disney in 2015 was absolutely charming with a lovely performance by Lily James. Did we really need another so soon? Amazon studios thought so, and so we have Cinderella (2021) starring Camila Cabello.
Don't worry, this time it's different though because Cinderella sings breathy pop songs and is a girl boss! Unlike other iterations of this story, this Cinderella doesn't care about going to the ball to meet the prince (Nicholas Galitzine). Here she just wants to start a fashion business and show off her designs in hopes of making a career for herself. Like other Cinderellas before her though, she does suffer from the wrath of her stepmother (Idina Menzel) and bullying of her stepsisters (played here by Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer). She also does have a fairy godmother, or rather fabulous godmother (played by Billy Porter who seems like the only one who had any energy for this project) who instead of creating a dress for her from scratch, makes one of the dresses she previously sketched into a reality.
Cinderella is a disaster. It definitely doesn't help that it (relatively) comes off the heels of the 2015 Lily James version, so it can't help but be compared to it, but this movie just really does not have much going for it. The music (aside from Idina Menzel's songs) sound like nails on a chalkboard. The leads are unlikable and the romance fizzles because it's hard to buy into it when it comes second to all its agenda. The filmmakers were so focused on making it modern that they lost all sense of what actually makes the story timeless. Cinderella is best left to be forgotten and if you're in the mood to see the story come to life watch one of the other countless versions that get it right.