I watched Ella Enchanted last week for the first time in ages and just fell back in love with it so in a fit of good cheer I thought, “Hey, let’s give this new Cinderella a try!”
I really should just stop while I’m ahead.
And hey the film is not awful. It has it’s moments… Minnie Driver, Idina Menzel and Pierce Brosnan (who at least I knew from Mama Mia was not a great singer) all stood out. The Whatta Man/Seven Nation Army mashup at the ball was fun.
Billy Porter is always great but he really should have left James Corden as a mouse and is directly responsible for me having to see Corden’s giant head on a little mouse body and the nightmares so I have to take points there.
This Ella is a dress designer who really, really wants to make it on her own. After sassing the King very publicly the Prince becomes enamored and things unfold as they will just this time with dresses.
And okay mileage is going to vary on the dresses but I didn’t think any of them were impressive. The costumes overall were hit and miss but Ella was just like let’s wrap some fabric around a mannequin and oh aren’t I talented!
Fair is fair her ballgown was still better than whatever that yellow thing Emma Watson wore in Beauty and the Beast was supposed to be.
But the weird thing is on the business angle it’s still who you know cause Ella does nothing without said Prince. He buys her first dress (while disguised) and has his sister wear it. He invites her to the ball with the idea she can network and only there does she meet a rich benefactor who has the weird distinction of actually being one of the best dressed in the movie which had me thinking…
Why do you like her stuff? I don’t get it. Your fashion plate status is about to be revoked.
Anyway after she makes the nothing burger sacrifice that she choses her work over the Prince he gives up his position (for his much better suited to the ruling task little sister) to travel the world with her and the stepmother learns to play the piano again or something because Cinderella got all she wanted.
Maybe the real message is sure you can be a girl boss so long as the right rich guy falls in love with you.
The thing is Ella Enchanted did this better years ago (admittedly it was based off a book so may have had a leg up). It also had the better romance and the better Somebody to Love number thank you very much.
Ella (Anne Hathaway) who was cursed by her fairy godmother with the gift of obedience which is taken very, very literally. So as it doesn’t kill her she embarks on a journey to find said godmother and is joined by the Prince (Hugh Dancy) whose been basically coddled and lied to by his evil Uncle about the state of his Kingdom.
It just works better overall because you get to see the things Ella is protesting against like the discrimination and slavery of the giants. Both characters grow separately and fall in love and none of it ever feels like lip service to some bigger point that gets missed along the way.
So while Cinderella is fine and even has its moments I kind of feel like it misses the point it was trying to make even on its own. Ella Enchanted did it better more than a decade ago.
Recommend: Yes go with Ella Enchanted.