Cinderella Story, A

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +1

Content: +2

Sam (Hilary Duff) is a high-school tomboy in Southern California whose life as a loved child ends when her single dad (Whip Hubley) dies suddenly, leaving her with her wicked stepmother Fiona (Jennifer Coolidge) and ugly stepsisters (Madeline Zima and Andrea Avery). While scrubbing floors and working late nights at the family-owned diner, Sam dreams of meeting her Internet pal, known only as Nomad (Chad Michael Murray). Rhonda (Regina King), the manager of the diner, loans Sam her unused wedding dress for the high-school masquerade ball so she can meet him, but he happens to be the football quarterback going steady with the head cheerleader. Chaos erupts as Fiona, the stepsisters and the cheerleading squad make sure Sams chances are dashed before they ever meet. Instead of a glass slipper, Sam drops her cell phone, leaving the only clue to her identity. Girls 613 may get caught up in this unoriginal teen movie, but the animated Disney version is much better.

As in all fairy tales, good wins over evil in stark black and white. Sam is so good while Fiona and her daughters are so bad that its hard to connect with any of them. Sam makes straight As, works long hours at the diner, does all of the cooking and cleaning at home, and still looks beautiful. Fiona is a caricature of greed, envy and selfishness, and her daughters are awkward, stupid and silly. While Sam is humiliated by classmates and despised by her stepsisters, her coworkers at the diner protect her, whenever possible, from Fionas wrath. She also has a loyal friend, nerdy Carter (Dan Byrd), who learns along with Sam the importance of being themselves and not hiding behind disguises. Theres no sex, drugs or homosexual behavior in A Cinderella Story, but stereotyping popular teenagers as shallow, stepfamilies as cruel and dishonest, and smart kids as misfits is unfair. Unfortunately, that seems to be the tired theme of many teenage movies.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Warner Brothers

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times moderate (butt 6)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (2) times moderate (MG 2)

Violence: Few times mild (sisters push and shove each other, get in fight at car wash, and bicker constantly; others tripped and pushed)

Sex: None

Nudity: Few times mild (girls in brief swimsuits; cheerleaders in low-cut, revealing outfits)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Mistreated girl learns to stand up for herself; friends stop pretending to be people they are not; cruel teenagers humiliate girl for being waitress; stepmother lies and encourages children to be greedy and cruel to stepsister)

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Girls 6-13

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