Meet Blanche Monroe, otherwise known as 'the Evil Stepmother' an out-of-work daytime drama queen. When her stunning stepdaughter (Snow White) is discovered by a hotshot Hollywood agent (Mirror, Mirror on the wall), Blanche's jealousy nearly drives her to the brink of insanity. Written by
Cherien Dabis sold her first script, "Little Black Boot," to the nonprofit lesbian filmmaker's collective, POWER UP, in 2001. But at the time, POWER UP would not permit writers to also direct their work. Subsequently, Dabis wrote "Memoirs of an Evil Stepmother" -- which became her directorial debut.
This film is a clever updating of the Snow White fairy tale, only this time the evil stepmother is a has-been soap opera actress whose daughter is taking her place. It's clever, but the film never quite manages to find its footing. Really witty updating of the main elements of the fairy-tale story are lacking. The film would have benefited from a bit more character development of Snow (the suddenly pretty, breast-implanted stepdaughter) as well as a the importation of a few more updated fairy-tale elements. For example, at one point, Blanche wears a red cape. Why not incorporate some Little Red Riding-Hood elements into the script?
I was completely blown away by the film's stupendously inventive, creative and funny opening credits. The film's editor and art directors deserve real kudos for coming up with this wonderful tribute to tabloids and Hollywood -- which also serves to set up the story and advance the narrative.
Jane Lynch ("Best in Show," "A Mighty Wind") is superb. But the rest of the cast is given little to do, and doesn't rise much to the occasion.
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