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A Cinderella Story (2004)
Once upon a time... can happen any time.
Director: Mark Rosman
Comedy
Family
Romance

Routinely exploited by her wicked stepmother, the downtrodden Samantha Montgomery is excited about the prospect of meeting her Internet beau at the school's Halloween dance.

A Cinderella Story (2004)

Variations

Yes, this is a simple syrupy tale, childish and cliched with actors of ordinary skill and charm. But I liked it.

The oddest thing is that though Disney cannot make decent cartoons any more, they sure have the old fashioned sentimental tale down, stuff from the era of “Flubber”. One that particularly impressed me in its craftsmanship was “The Kid”.

This isn’t lifealtering or near perfect. But it works. For what it is, all the pieces form a well oiled machine that furthers its success.

The whole thing revolves around us knowing it is a date movie. We know the formula of the date movie. We came to see it because we know what will happen, how it will happen and how it will be resolved. Predictability is the main thing, followed by charm.

So if you were writing such a thing, how would you deal with this predictability? You might try to hide it under grossout humour like “Wedding Crashers”. You might try some soft psychological drama like “Wedding Date”.

Look what these writers have done instead: they made the formula explicit. You have the prototype made obvious, with every touchstone amplified. It is a sort of reverse fold, flatten everything explicitly so that we can do away with pretense and irony and just swim in the simple, yes cheap, emotionalism we paid to have.

Great idea. Sure, I cried.

Posted in 2005

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

IMDB

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