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DVD Review: Another Cinderella Story

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A Cinderella Story was cute. I like the cheesy family flicks that would be found on the likes of Disney or ABC Family. But what I don’t want is a ton of rip-offs of the same modern translation of yet another story. Each new movie is worse than the one before it. And a lot has to be said for originality, unfortunately Another Cinderella Story lacks that. The Cinderella-esque story has been done before. The dancing story has been done before. And both had much better versions than this. It’s a good thing I don’t have testicles because I promise they would have castrated themselves and run away after watching this movie.

Another Cinderella Story is the tale of Mary, our modern-day Cinderella. She lives with the fading popstar diva Dominique and her two step-sisters. Mary dreams of dancing and hopes to go to a dancing school. Then we have current pop-heartthrob Joey Parker who has come home to go back to school. Throw in a masked ball (because so many high schools have those), replace a missing slipper with a missing mp3 player, and you have this take on the classic tale.

Just what did this DVD get right? Well, it has an insert to get your digital copy of the movie for your computer. So if for some reason you need to watch a movie on your computer or portable device and don’t want to pay for a better movie, you can. The movie also looks fine, so at least it doesn’t look like something your little sister recorded on a digital camera. No really, it looks like your typical DVD these days — not as finely detailed and fluid as a blu-ray, but we weren’t expecting that. The kids in the movie are cute, I have no idea who any of them are (other than Jane Lynch of course) but they did a decent job. I guess I’m not the hip Highschool Musical type. None of the dancing blew me away, but I didn’t laugh the way I do during So You Think You Can Dance auditions either. Apparently the boy actually sings pop music, but the music was just generic pop Backstreet Boys could have done ten years ago that didn’t have the muster to become a hit single. But again, I didn’t laugh the way I do during American Idol auditions.

What did the movie get wrong? Well, the age difference in the leads apparently got some remarks. I agree that our Cinderella looks young, but honestly he does too. As far as chemistry between them, I don’t think we ever get many scenes with them other than when they are dancing or singing – and anyone can do that well together if given enough training and practice. I also think Jane Lynch’s character fell flat. She was underused so her bits missed the target and instead of being funny were simply annoying.

There are a handful of special features on the DVD. It has music videos and sing-a-longs, though none of them were compelling. There are several behind-the-scenes looks – at Mary, Joey, and the fashion. There is also a look at the dancing in the movie. As seems to be the norm these days, Another Cinderella Story is double-sided so you can watch in either widescreen or full-screen, though I am unsure of why anyone would opt to watch something in full-screen.

I’d only recommend Another Cinderella Story to those with kids who eat up all movies like this and to those who haven’t seen A Cinderella Story or any of the dancing movies that actually made it to the theaters.

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