Cinderella goes Glee in this woke musical extravaganza that is neither great nor terrible, enjoyable enough to provide a welcome escape from, well, everything else.
A modern take on the well-known tale, Cinderella follows Ella (Camila Cabello) as she chases her dreams and tests the boundaries of what is expected of her, even when the opportunity to marry the prince (Nicholas Galitzine) presents itself. Cinderella certainly doesn’t fire on all cylinders; the reimagined plot is not without its holes and the music, though fun, doesn’t always fit. But the performances are enough to keep you engaged, from Cabello to Idina Menzel and everyone in support. The stepsisters (Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer) are absolutely hilarious while Pierce Brosnan and Minni Driver are solid additions. It’s Billy Porter, however, who steals the entire show with his blend of humor and fabulous ferocity that brings his Fab G to life, challenging gender and role norms.
The plot is imbued with feminist spirit with writer/director Kay Cannon putting Ella first, granting her character permission to pursue her own dreams (designing dresses) over the repeated push to marry. Some may find the choices frustratingly overt and predictable, but even so Cinderella is a pleasurable outing, both visually and lyrically.
Fair warning, we get James Corden in yet another goofy supporting role, but the gift that is Billy Porter, not to mention a fine performance from Cabello, are enough to drown him out.
Cinderella hits select theaters and Amazon Prime Video this Friday.
Photo from Amazon Studios