Amazon review ‘Cinderella’: why it’s like a high school theater production
Last week, two clips related to Amazon Cinderella The musical starring pop star Camilla Cabello is circulating on Twitter. The first, featuring elements from the film, is a brief glimpse into the pivotal scene where Cinderella’s fairy godmother – here named Fab G and played by Billy Porter – waves her wand and dresses her in a chic dress. “Yaassss future queen yaassssHe cooed. The testing energy of the material was ripe for mockery and, indeed, we didn’t care. Then came the Corden track. Someone shot some damn footage of Cabello, Porter and co-stars Idina Menzel and James Corden singing “Let’s make some noise“in the middle of traffic in Los Angeles for one of the” Crosswalk “segments on Corden’s The late show. Corden, in a full mouse costume, thrusts his pelvis towards the conductor / videographer.
I wish I could say these were just isolated examples that turn eyes and actually work in the context of the new Cinderella, written and directed by Kay Cannon, a 30 Rock veteran who did the very good Blockers a few years ago, but sadly they’re exactly representative of what you can expect if you air it this weekend. Cinderella has the energy of a high school theatrical production, but not in an endearing way. It’s sloppy and desperate to impress, and, alas, scowl-inducing.
The 2021 Cinderella, not to be confused with the Disney 2015 Cinderella, became colloquially known as “Girlboss” Cinderella, because in this version, Ella (Cabello) dreams not only of escaping her stepmother and leaving her basement, but also of becoming a fashion designer, much like the countless “girlbosses” in real life who have become the subject of abundant media criticism as they crawl over others on their way to the Millennial Pink Summit. (It also turns out that Cannon was the creator of a short-lived Netflix series called patroness on the controversial fast-fashion impresario, Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso.) CinderellaIn the garishly dressed but flat-shot fairytale world, women are not allowed to own businesses or run countries, much to the dismay of our heroine and the Prince (Nicholas Galitzine), who just wants to pass the line of succession to his more competent sister way (Tallulah Greive). Yes, these are the most basic feminist lessons, all with winks, sassy asides and songs galore.
On the theme of songs: Cinderella especially imagined in the style of Red Mill! with pop hits built into the narrative, though there are a few original compositions, including anything recited by the rapper town crier. To show just how stuck this town is, it all opens with Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” chorus, which ultimately turns into a mashup with Cinderella singing Des’ree’s 1994 hit “You. Gotta Be “. The prince, in search of his fiancée, sings “Somebody to Love” by Queen, which was also in a different updated version of Cinderella with Minnie Driver, Anne Hathaway’s Ella, delighted. At the ball, the lewd ladies take out “Whatta Man” by Salt-N-Pepa as His Royal Highness and his boys go to the “Seven Nation Army” of the White Stripes. The not-so-mean mother-in-law (Menzel) turns to “Material Girl” to explain her philosophy of life. If that sounds exhausting, it is. No one bothered to sing, but everyone played in the same register, slightly self-tuned.
As long as Cinderella tries to reinvent Cinderella, it is still only Cinderella, and especially one wonders if this well is not exploited to try. Each Generation Gets Its ‘Reimagined’ Story From Cindy, From The Above Ella, delighted To Forever To A Cinderella Story, not to mention rebooted versions of classic interpretations of the tale, like Disney’s live-action attempt and the Brandy-Whitney Cinderella by Rodgers and Hammerstein. You can add all the radio hits you want, pick a former Fifth Harmony member, and envision the poor pity protagonist as a budding businesswoman, but in the end, it’s still fair. Cinderella, and now it’s pretty boring.