Everybody's a critic - 'A Cinderella Story'

Friday, July 23, 2004

Three stars (out of four)

"A Cinderella Story" is your typical teenage chick flick. As a mother, the movie impressed me with some of the positive messages it presents, such as follow your dreams, stick up for yourself, don't be cruel, be a good friend and stop caring so much about what people think of you.

After the death of a loving father, Sam Montgomery (Hillary Duff) lives with her self-obsessed stepmother Fiona (Jennifer Coolidge) and her sinfully wicked stepsisters, who treat her more like a servant than family. With the support of her extended family at the diner where she works, Sam learns to be true to herself and follow the dreams set before her.

The movie's themes are as tried-and-true as the story it is based on. Sam's best friend Carter supports her through thick and thin, even though it seems like he would rather not share her with some randomly appointed punk prince.

- Donna Sternickle, business owner


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Three stars (out of four)

A classic storyline leaves room for interpretation and retelling, even if the story is a fairy tale.

"A Cinderella Story" reworks the classic fairy tale as a modern-day, California-style version. The movie centers around the stepchild, played by Hillary Duff, who is balancing high school, a job at a diner and a life of her own.

The "prince" is an American equivalent of royalty, the star football player who can't recognize his prize even when he sees her daily.

The "princesses" trying to win his hand are cheerleaders.

Of course, there are the other mandatory characters -- the stepmother and her daughters.

The characters and the school setting affirm that in high school, as in life, some things never change. To paraphrase one of the characters, it's not who you are, it's what you wear.

This movie has a good supporting cast and while there are many stereotypes, none are heavy-handed.

Despite the limitations of the plot, there are a lot of laughs and the film is sweet without being sickening. This would be a good date movie or a way to lift your spirits without any intellectual challenge.

- Marilou Shaner, lawyer

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