did amazon studio miss the mark when remaking cinderella?

Belle Akeredolu '24

Cinderella, the newest retelling of the classic fairytale by Amzon Studios, is a feminist's dream come true. Instead of Cinderella being a poor little girl who needs a big strong man to help her, director Kay Cannon (who also directed Pitch Perfect) puts a spin on this story, recreating Ella played by Camila Cabello, as an independent woman who is an aspiring fashion designer. Ella lives in a conservative town where women are expected to stay at home. Ella, on the other hand, is determined to start and run her own business called "Dresses by Ella." The rest of the story is familiar to you: she meets the prince, she attends the ball, they fall in love, and so on. Now that we have got the plot out of the way, did I enjoy the movie?  It was alright; I didn't like it, but I didn't dislike it either. 

Let's go into my main complaints. First, the Fairy Godmother played by Billy Porter (also seen in Pose). I think he did an excellent job acting, but the way gay characters are written is often clichéd, which irritates me. I feel that the writing could have been better here, as not to push these gay stereotypes, especially when they tried so hard to have a diverse cast. Second, Ella's dresses were meant to be one-of-a-kind and unique. Personally, I thought they were tacky and cheap-looking, which was disappointing since Ella’s talent and career goals were central themes in the film. Third, the choreography was horrible throughout the whole film. With their constant hopping and twirling, the actors looked like they were mimicking monkeys. Fourth, the stepsisters were not particularly cruel or rude to Ella, which made it difficult for me to dislike them and sympathize with Ella. They were too absorbed with themselves to even pay attention to Ella. Finally, the soundtrack was cringe-worthy. This is a difficult issue for me since I really enjoyed the film’s original songs (Million to one, Dream Girl), but the rest of the film’s melody of pop hits bothered me. Cinderella plays as if the director simply picked songs to match the action in the script but did not listen to the vibe the songs gave to each scene. For example, during the ball scene, they played “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. I had to pause the film and laugh out loud. 

Now for my compliments. First and foremost, I was impressed by the acting in this film. Celebrities who want to be actors have a tendency to fail miserably once they learn they can't act. But, I was pleasantly impressed by Cabello’s performance in the film, which was strong throughout. Second, the comedy was consistently good throughout the film. There were some jokes that fell short, but it was not bad for a family movie. Finally, I loved having a female lead that didn't need to be saved by a man and did not choose love over her own future. Is this a film that I would recommend? If you are trying to kill time, sure it's a cute movie to watch from the comfort of your couch. Would I go to the theaters for this movie, no. It's really just an okay movie, I'd give it a 6 out of 10.