Very rarely would I describe watching a film and say that I hated every minute of it. Usually there’s some area of production that I can call neat or even during the worst things I usual have a chuckle at film’s expense. Then I watched Amazon Prime’s Cinderella and there was no redeeming quality and I very much hated every minute of it. Watching Cinderella was like giving yourself a temporary lobotomy as you feel like nothing but an empty husk until the end of runtime. Cinderella will go down as an attempt to weaponize theater kids in a fashion that breaks the rules of the Geneva convention.
Watch a movie which sole intention is trying to reverse engineer Tik Tok sounds and sell an Adult Version of Kidz Bop. Though I might cause irreversible brain damage to myself thinking about the stupidity that is this movie, I’m going to rundown everything I did not enjoy about my experience watching it.
1. The Fashion
I have never seen a stronger case for why the Razzies need a worst hair and Wardrobe award. Cinderella looks like someone was trying to cure blindness by making the most horrendous outfits known to man that it channels into some other plane of existence that they could see. I don’t know why the royalty wears costumes that look like they were bought at a dollar barn, or why Camilla Cabello sells dresses that look kind of tacky. I think it’s bad when the best outfit in the entire film was a fencing uniform. Minnie Driver looks like a bee keeper of the most fanciest rich person home and honestly it was the only time I felt someone looked nice.
2. The Music
I made a parody of a tweet that I saw on Twitter saying that Rotten Tomatoes just hates musicals because it also gave a rotten score to The Great Showman which is also a terrible time but that is besides the point. I will full disclosure say that I like a good musical: I don’t know why I like My Fair Lady as much as I do, La La Land was a spectacle, I even like Dear Evan Hansen and Be More Chill as some modern examples. That said, Cinderella is probably the worst musical I have ever listened to.
For starters what a lazy song selection. I don’t even think you could of picked any looser of song rights if you tried, its the same 10 songs that always appear in garbage movies such as this. You’ve heard it on Glee, hell you’ve heard them in Happy Feet. It’s the songs that get passed around like beer at a Frat party. There was no level of thought of how to integrate these songs in an interesting ways and they only seem to exist because a marketing team thought it was a wide enough demographic to get a bunch of people to buy a soundtrack.
Then you have the complete homogenization of the soundtrack. No song sounds unique in this none of them express different emotions or story beats they all have one sound to them and it is this fake anthem music. Karen just dropped her two kids at soccer practice and needs an uplifting pick me up to ride triumphantly back home to find the motivation to make PB&J to. Every song loses anything you like about the original. The opening number is a great example of this because it took me a hot minute to realize we weren’t doing Michael Jackson’s Thriller ( I actually showed some clips to my sister and she too thought it was Thriller XD). Then I heard them saying River Nation and I was like cool, it’s a bit of a shame they never call it River Nation or reference that later. Then when writing this review I looked up the soundtrack and found out it was Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation. My apologies for being uncultured to not be able to recognize the Janet Jackson hit but the fact you could mistake that song for Thriller is a great illustration of my point.
Everything sounds the same, and the vocal performances honestly sound like Karaoke. It is a great soundtrack if you love the sound of aggressively auto-tuned vocals. In typical theater kid fashion, every single person in this can’t help themselves in trying to be the most annoying person in the room. Almost every song has vocal improvisations or components. It’s basically the equivalent of every song having a moment of turning into The Brothers Flub intro:
I never thought I would utter this sentence, but why didn’t you let James Corden sing. In a couple of the songs the mice chime in and they’re mice so instead of singing they squeak in a really irritating high pitch frequency. It’s like someone said this song could use my favorite instrument, nails on a chalkboard. It wasn’t cute, the rat in The Suicide Squad was cute, the creatures in Disney stuff are able to come across as quite cute. I don’t know how you manage to make it sound so harsh but they managed it.
The music some of the times doesn’t even match the character, the prince this whole movie could care less about his suitors and just wants to impress Ella. However aroused by their coordinated performance of Salt N’ Pepa he decided to sing 7 Nation Army back at them. A prince who hates rumors and goes against his status sings a song about having an attitude against fame, but acts in a way to imply this is pretty awesome can’t wait to bang all these hotties.
The worse aspect of the music is that it isn’t even mixed well. How do you fuck up your sound editing, what happened? Camilla sings her big song and she is just heavy breathing throughout the song and I didn’t like hearing that. Then when they play Get Loud the track completely overshadows the vocal performances. Who cleared this, who signed off on any aspect of this movie.
3. The Prince
I don’t have much about the prince except that he can’t really sing. He sings and I just imagine the sound engineer adjusting every switch on the board. His performance isn’t much better, half the time when he’s singing he looks like he let’s out of little pee every five seconds. Also whatever Lip gloss he’s wearing is really cute. I thought the same thing about the guy in He’s All That. Women, speak to me. Do you want your many to have glossier lips than you, is that what’s trending now? I mean to each their own but am I supposed to believe this man isn’t just caked in make-up throughout this movie?
In terms of character he adds nothing except he pretends to have an arc. The prince shows no aspirations for being king or living up to the expectations for the future. Then in the end he learns that he has no aspirations for being king or living up to the expectations for the future. You know you can have a flat character, you don’t have to pretend he learned something at the end. He tries to get the girl he likes and he gets her. He didn’t learn anything, he though everything that came with being a king was what he wanted and in the end he got everything he wanted since the first five minutes. I’m sorry but the film tries to gaslight people into thinking character growth happens in this movie and it doesn’t.
4. The Bastardized Cinderella Story
I have never cared for any Cinderella story and I wish we could just not have yet another Cinderella story. There’s no part of me that has any care for Cinderella, and it probably is the worst Disney Princess movie in my opinion. I don’t care for Cinderella all that much and if we’re being honest neither do the filmmakers because they butcher it pretty uncerimoniously.
I mean sure you could argue that the whole running off with a guy is a little antiquated but it so odd that feminism has to look at every story in the most reductive lens in order to have a grief with it. I thought at the heart of it Cinderella is less about the romance but more about the rags to riches underdog story. I don’t think the prince is even supposed to give Cinderella any value or sense of worth; it is more that he validates it by recognizing the true beauty of Cinderella. Love is the reward because it is from someone who admires her and she comes from an abusive household. The guy isn’t the reward, it’s about getting what you deserve and for Cinderella that’s getting out of the basement and terrible house hold.
Instead of rags to riches Cinderella is a middle class to middle class story. Her sisters are just kind of goofy and honestly just let Cinderella do her own thing. The evil stepmom is also not even a villain in this. She actually encourages Cinderella to go to the ball up until another suitor is arranged to marry Cinderella because she is the most desirable of the daughters. Well Cinderella you don’t need 2 husbands and since I guess she just knew Cinderella would be chosen she completely flips her character and because abusive as not to ruin the other sister’s chances.
I just always thought Cinderella was supposed to be a young girl’s fantasy but every scene is just not fun in the slightest. Instead of getting a magical transformation, the fairy god person just uses one of Ella’s dress designs. Ella also doesn’t loose the glass slipper she just accidently tries to kill a man with it by throwing it so she can run away. The ball, that’s just a networking event were you go to try and impress someone into wanting someone to invest in her dresses. The whole prince has to find the right girl, no we’re not doing that. The magic allows the prince to recognize Ella, and he has already feel in love with Ella multiple times.
This Ella doesn’t give a shit about the prince, but she still needs someone to validate her worth in the form of a business transaction. Maybe she falls in love with the prince, depends how impactful that Ed Sheeran song was. You might be asking, if finding who was at the ball isn’t the conflict and the stepmom isn’t the conflict than what is the plot of this movie.
Cinderella is a movie where the villain is marriage. Marriage sucks, and all is does is tie you down. You can’t dismantle the patriarchy by….selling dresses (that thing that men are notorious for gatekeeping woman from doing, can’t wait for the sequel where Ella breaks gender norms by opening a sandwich shop). We have two characters who don’t want to get married or have responsibilities in their life and the two learn that yes they were correct. Everyone who wants them to get married like the king and the stepmom are just poopyheads. It’s a very mature adaptation.
5. The Rest of the Annoying Stuff
Yeah, I never wanted to watch a scene in which James Corden talks about the veracity in which liquid comes out of his penis but thanks Cinderella for providing it. Camilla Cabello comes across as unlikeable and I didn’t care about Ella in the slightest. I thought it was funny, there’s one character in this that instead of regurgitating pop songs actually sings musical interludes to pad the run time and/or connect scenes into the next. I call him Hamilton man, because there is no way in hell this character wasn’t written in hopes that they could cast any member of the Hamilton cast. It is pretty hilarious that ever person that took part in Hamilton declined this dogshit of a movie and they had to go with a guy who felt close enough. The other thing is the editing is aggressive; why is this movie edited like an action movie? Usually big dance numbers are impressive because of the coordination and synchronization and movement but they cut 2 seconds so I can only assume that everyone is a flat-footed bozo and they couldn’t go any longer without someone tripping over their own to feet and that’s not really impressive now is it.
I don’t know, I’m sure there’s people above the age of 5 that enjoyed this for whatever reason is wrong with them. I watch movies because I want a compelling story or experience, I watch a musical if I want to listen to some fun music. To say the least I was not compelled, and I did not have fun. The dialogue was just intolerable, if Tik Tok or Buzzfeed was a person they would have wrote this script. To be honest the movie was over and I exited out of it like I was trying to set a speed run record. So if you hold my opinion to any sort of merit, I would advise to run in the opposite direction of this one, as James Corden has cursed yet another musical to be a truly miserable experience.
Also P.S. My good friend Jon Spencer is a big fan of the show Taskmaster and half the cast of Taskmaster is in the movie. Be sure to tell him this and ask when he will have his review out on this cinematic achievement. I’m sure he’ll love that. alright goodbye, see you soon at the movies!