A Cinderella Story (2004) Poster

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Modernized for a new fairy tale generation!
Robert W.19 October 2004
I have said before and I will confess again, I am just a sucker for the Disney cutesy live action movies. Princess Diaries, Freaky Friday, Parent Trap. They are predictable but always fun and light hearted and humorous. It's a recipe for film that has worked for Disney far longer than any of us care to think about. In saying that I am not a Hillary Duff fan, although she seems multi talented, her characters never change and her scope as an actress will seemingly be limited to Lizzie McGuire for the rest of her career.

A Cinderella Story is exactly what one would expect. It's a retelling of the old classic fairy tale with the modern day twist but director Mark Rosman, who has really nothing to claim fame to does a terrific job at truly modernizing the story without coming across as stupid or blatantly obvious. Duff plays Sam, a girl who's father is tragically taken from her after marrying a wicked woman played perfectly hideously by Jennifer Coolidge, you can't help but despise her in this role. She is accompanied by her two daughters, Brianna and Gabriella who are spoiled little brats that like to make Sam's life a living hell. Sam's "wicked stepmother" takes over Sam's father's pride of joy, his diner and turns into her own little cash cow while keeping her late husband's staff on to torture them. She always makes Sam grind her fingers to the bone in between school classes working in the diner. Sam has an online boyfriend whom she's never met, there is a school dance in which he wants to meet her, he turns out to be Mr. Popular, she sneaks out having to be back at the diner for twelve before her stepmother finds out. The rest of the story unfolds as you might expect.

As with all live action cutesy Disney type films, the cast shines...yes even Duff. She's too goody for her own good which works in this case as you feel sorry for her. Her surrogate family, the diner staff are delightful and funny and they help us root for the underdog. Rhonda played by Regina King, who has been some great family movies ie: Mighty Joe Young, and Daddy Day Care is perfect as Sam's protector and Fairy Godmother you might say?? And Chad Michael Murray is great as her Saviour and Prince Charming. The best part of this film is the way the retelling is handled. It's not done in such a way that you are blatantly watching another rehashing of an old fairy tale but rather handled delicately and done in such a modern way that you think to yourself "Hey that's almost like Cinderella." You actually feel for each character the way you are supposed to feel, and you want to see each and every one get what they deserve and incidentally they all do which leaves you satisfied and happy with the film.

This movie won't rake in any critical acclaim but it's fun and you'll enjoy it if you like this style of movie. I suggest checking it out!! 7/10
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Perfect romantic comedy
sportsman20312 March 2005
I thought this movie was a funny and a romantic chick flick. Hilary Duff is one of my favorite actresses and she plays a perfect Sam in this movie. This movie is pretty predictable but still fun to watch. If your bored one day go to the video store and check this movie out. It is very interesting to watch from beginning to end. Chad Micheal Murray is a great Austin for this movie and has what it takes.I never get sick of watching this movie.Every character in this movie was the right pick.I'm so glad Hilary played Sam instead of somebody else.If you are not interested in this movie, at least give it a chance! From a scale 1-10 i give this movie a 8. Two thumbs up!
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A lovely movie
cassandramusicred24 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I personally loved this movie and cried like as many times as I saw this movie. I saw this movie about 10 times. Still seems like a surprise every time I see this Beautiful spirited movie. This Cinderella Story has a modern twist like no other. Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray were great actors in this love story. This Love is about a girl that loses her father but then meets the worst woman if her life and her two stepsisters. But then she takes control of her life. Samantha(Duff) showed girl power and her true colors in the end of the movie towards Austin (Murray) and Fiona (Jennifer Cooliedge). This movie inspires many people to go for their future and dreams and to find their true love of their life.
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Sweet, and heart warming
Kaylee Perez13 February 2005
Your perfect family film. Has your normal crushes and such. Lots of self confidence, and showing how much you need your friends. That timeless, and useful quote, "never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game"...after I saw that movie, and heard that line, i changed my lifestyle of leaving everything, calm , boring, and not the way i wanted it. I was afraid that I wouldn't be accepted if i didn't do a certain thing, or if I did a certain thing. I was wrong, and this movie, strange as it may sound, gave me the nerve to do some things I never would have done on my own. Definitely something to see if your feeling left out, or need something that will show you, that dreams can come true.
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Cracking, feel-good fabulousness!
gorejuice5 May 2005
A fantastic interpretation of an age old classic. This movie has it all, with a modern spark.

Every aspect of the original story has been taken into account and even added to.

But also, for the guys, hot chicks galore, and for the girls, fit AND soulful blokes.

A rockin' soundtrack and slick feel to the whole film, with the obligatory heart-wrenching sorrow of our heroine's father's death and the hatred (oh, such hatred!) of the wicked step- mom, what more do you need for today's Cinderella lovin' breed.

A great film to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Massive thumbs up from OUR whole family.
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It was actually better then I thought it would be.
triple823 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers

Man do people hate this movie!!!! I guess I could See why. Oscar winner it ain't. But there are so many movies that are worse then this. I gave this a 6 which normally means OK maybe but not really that great. In this case, though, I guess my review will Be a Mostly positive one-because this was actually many points better then I ever dreamed it would be.

First off I watched this when I was sick-now I have done that, in the past with other movies and they've put me to sleep. Cinderella Story kept my attention nicely. This movie, to me, didn't seem bad or dreadful-just unoriginal. There was not a lot of creativity that went into this, it's just basically the retelling of Cinderella high school style. But I moderately enjoyed it. I was aware, when I was watching it, that I wasn't watching anything particularly new or different, just a sweet little movie. And I can say I even liked this a bit.

People have complained this isn't original but I actually think that's a plus. My fear was that they'd turn the story of Cinderella into an action movie. I mean Hollywood lately especially, HAS been known to do things like that. But the story's basically the same and although I'd have not originally thought of Duff for this role she's actually pretty good in it. Chad Michael Murray, who played Austin was good as well, although he looked about 5 or 10 years older then Duff but he was good in the role.

The movie does contain a few laugh out loud funny lines and best of all, you know what's gonna happen before it happens so you can relax and enjoy yet another version of a timeless classic. This movie is nowhere near at the level of a movie like Ever After, and I honestly could not give it above a 6, but it's very much fun to watch at times and clearly not made with the makers expecting Oscars. I'd say if your in the right mood, give it a chance. My vote's 6 of 10.
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Great Viewing Experience
ken_14813 December 2005
As an "old" fan of the Parent Trap, both editions but liked the modern version the best, I found this movie captivating and a must have for my limited movie collection. I love the modern story and the use of the "you have mail" symbolism. I am still emotionally high on the experience and I am watching parts of it daily for spurts of energy, romance and fantasy into my otherwise interesting but routine life. My granddaughters are laughing at me because I even bought the sound track and played it in the car when I picked them up at school. "You don't even like that kind of music", is all I hear from them through their laughter. I am determined to "like" the music at least half as much as I love the movie. Wish there would have been more buildup, ie, details of the instant message relationship and more focus on the Prince and Cinderella, their feeling and emotions before and after the ball. If your parents, grandparents or other "old" people you know, were fans of the Parent Trap, or Ever After, please find a way to get them to watch this movie. Tell them an old retired Army Colonel recommended it.
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Unexpectedly Emotional and Hilarious!
Charles Kelvin5 June 2005
Well, I thought that this movie is just some teen romance flick that will not emphasize so much on feeling. Fortunately, it turns out unexpectedly. The feeling in this movie is so appealing and sensible. It is not just merely the fantasy story of Cinderella that one would have expect it to be. At least I can feel the emotions and the romance. For a romance movie, I don't expect it to be as great as Titanic, but this movie is just fine. Besides, this movie also brings forth many messages that would be useful to youth nowadays and I consider it to be very educational. The most important message in this movie I personally think is 'nothing is impossible if you just believe' and 'the fear of being rejected' as these messages are vital in the life as a teenager nowadays. Overall, this movie fulfill most of the important aspects that one movie should have. It has a good plot and well-acted by the casts. The casts managed to express their character well and this is quite remarkable as most of them are young actors like Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. This movie also has an appropriate soundtrack to go with it. One more thing, this movie is surely hilarious and I think most of the people will like it. With all the mentioned features, one will remain seated until the entire movie ends. Quite a good movie!!!
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Great as a Cinderella story; just so-so as a high school rom-com
Brandt Sponseller13 August 2006
I haven't looked at other reviews of A Cinderella Story yet, but especially because it's a Hilary Duff film, I'd expect there to be a lot of scathing comments. That's because Hilary Duff is, or was, at least, popular with tweens and teens, and lots of slightly older folks have a tendency to hate commercial or popular stuff just because it's commercial or popular. Of course, they find other ways to justify their effectively institutional hatred of this stuff, and I'd guess that the main complaint would be the clichéd and predictable nature of the material here.

And that's true. A Cinderella Story is clichéd and predictable, but that's not a great reason to dislike it. It is a Cinderella story, after all--it tells you right there in the title--retooled as a contemporary Los Angeles-area high school romance-comedy. We all know the Cinderella story fairly well. And any film fan at least old enough to almost be through with high school is surely familiar with the clichés of rom-coms and high school films. Most of us could write the basics of A Cinderella Story's plot without even seeing the film's trailer. So for adults, at least, A Cinderella Story is going to be successful or not dependent on how well it hikes its well-trodden path.

For me, the best material was the more traditional Cinderella-based stuff. Jennifer Coolidge (voluptuously) fills the role of the wicked stepmother. I like Coolidge a lot. She has tremendous charisma and performs her infamous, quirky sarcastic act here with verve. I also like Duff. The two actresses playing Duff's stepsisters were new to me, but just as charismatic as Coolidge. Director Mark Rosman quotes some of the cartoonish visual gags of Disney's Cinderella (1950) more than I expected, and it works amazingly well. It's one element that pushes the film into a welcomed, absurd-surreal territory.

What didn't work as well for me was the material when Rosman and credited writer Leigh Dunlap forgot about doing a pumped up remake of Cinderella. Too much of A Cinderella Story deals with Sam's (Duff) budding cyber-romance, her typical high school problems and the caricatured, stereotypical high school cliques. It's not that these other segments are bad, exactly, but they just don't have the spark or humor that the Cinderella material has, and especially for something like the cliques, we've seen this tens of times before. These scenes would be right at home if we edited them into any of those other films or television shows--sometimes I had to remind myself that I wasn't watching, say, a Cordelia scene from the first season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997).

So A Cinderella Story has a bit of a split personality--as a funny and wacky remake of Cinderella and as a far less humorous, pretty generic "getting through adolescence and finding yourself" message film. That After-School-Special-styled message may be a worthy one, but intercut with a great version of Cinderella, it doesn't quite fit, even though Rosman does finally start to find a unique and admirable groove while still alternating modes towards the end of the film.
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it is great
megagob200426 February 2006
It is a wonderful film. And if you are like me and think that Chad Michael is fit (which he is) then you will like it. It is funny and a good film to watch. I have watched it over 20 times and i normally won't watch i film more that twice. So i would say if you like funny, romantic, girlie film then you will enjoy it. I don't think many boys would enjoy it though. It is easy to understand and is well written. I think that it is a bit to like Cinderella though. But otherwise i think that every girl should see it.:) I hope if you get it that you enjoy like i have. So have fun watching it. Sorry if this review is not that good, i am not good with reviews
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