out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
A Cinderella Story
|*Also starring: ||Chad Murray, Dan Byrd, Regina King, Julie Gonzalo, Lin Shaye, Madeline Zima, Andrea Avery, Mary Pat Gleason, Paul Rodriguez, Whip Hubley, Kevin Kilner, Erica Hubbard||
Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4
Perky Cinderella no longer needs Prince Charming to save her in this
awkward, updated fairy tale. She not only saves herself but him, too - at least
It's 2004 in the San Fernando Valley, where high school senior Sam
Montgomery (Hilary Duff) juggles being a straight-A student - dreaming of going
to Princeton - with the demands of her job, bussing tables at the '50s diner
that her obnoxious stepmother (Jennifer Coolidge) inherited from her father.
Despite the fact that she's smart and pretty, Sam's constantly ridiculed by her
silly stepsisters (Andrea Avery, Madeline Zima) which lowers her self-esteem.
But she has a secret admirer, a sensitive soul from an Internet chat room. He
goes to her school but she has no idea who he is, so they agree to meet at the
Halloween Dance. But how can Sam go? And what will she wear? That's where the
waitress Rhonda (Regina King) comes to the rescue. Then Sam freaks out when she
discovers that her Prince Charming is Austin Ames (Chad Michael Murray), the
Big Man on Campus: the popular captain of the football team. Austin aims for
Princeton and not fulfill his father's demand that he play football for USC.
But Austin can't figure out who his cyber-Cinderella really is. The only clue
she left behind was her cellphone.
Written by Leigh Dunlap and directed by Mark Rosman, the concept tries to
capture the insecure angst of contemporary teens. Problem is: supposedly smart
Austin as thick as a plank, and the unbelievable script drowns in so many
clichés that it becomes tedious - except for Hilary Duff's most devoted
"Lizzie McGuire" fans. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "A Cinderella
Story" is a shallow, bland, fluffy 4, outclassed by "Mean Girls" and "Ella
Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger
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