I’m not sure what I expected from Amazon Prime’s Cinderella, what feels like the fiftieth remake of the same (or at least a similar) story we’ve gotten in the past two decades – including movies I adore, like the 2015 Cinderella and Ever After – but I will say, I did not expect to have as much fun as I did watching it.
Because yes, I had fun. I laughed. I found the characters charming – even the basic looking prince! ESPECIALLY THE BASIC LOOKING PRINCE! I cannot even put into words how he went from basic white untoasted bread to avocado toast appetizing by the end of the film. And then there’s the sister. And the parents! And Cinderella’s stepmom! And the stepsisters. All characters I had no intention – or reason, really, to care about, and who I came out of this enjoying at almost every stage.
I will not say this is my favorite version of this romance I have seen ever, but I also won’t say it’s the worst one – not even close. It kept me interested, it made me go awww a couple of times, and it also made me sing. And you know what? When the movies premieres on Amazon Prime in two days, I can’t say I won’t replay it a couple of times.
The vibe the movie is going for is apparent in the trailer, but it’s impossible to tell from a trailer if an attempt will translate. Trailers are, after all, meant to appeal to wider audiences than the movie itself. For me, the trailer was okay. Interesting, but not mind-blowing. Like a movie I wouldn’t be mad about checking out, but absolutely not one I would be hitting play on the moment it premiered.
The movie was better. Much better. And not just because of the cast, though Billy Porter in that outfit can make anything better. Can Billy be my fabulous Godmother? I promise to listen better than Cinderella! And hey – I will take the suit. The suit is on point. My fairytale starts with that suit.
It was better because it didn’t try to do what previous Cinderella versions have tried. And maybe it was better because, in 2021, we’re a little over royalty and this idea that being a princess can solve all your problems, so we relate to Cinderella’s doubts. The whole royalty thing didn’t go that well for Meghan Markle, after all.
Then there’s the music. Or the vibes + the music, which is truly what made the movie interesting for me. Think Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and that’s where I felt like the movie was, if not trying to exist, at least orbiting around. It was always going for sincere, while also going for ridiculous, and somehow finding that balance that made the audience absolutely buy both things.
The new version of Cinderella doesn’t take itself too seriously, so you probably shouldn’t take it all that seriously either. Perhaps that’s what elevates the movie from just your run-of-the-mill Disney adaptation. We will always have the classics, and we will always have those adaptations that follow the animated movies beat by beat. And we can enjoy those. But we can also enjoy a break from the norm.
We can enjoy it so much more than we expected.
Amazon Prime’s Cinderella might not be the most memorable movie you ever watch. But you probably won’t regret watching it. And you might find yourself hitting play more than once – for much more than the songs.