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Amazon’s modernized Cinderella musical is a drag. And that’s even if you overlook a gender-bending fairy godmother and a happy ending that rejects marriage.
No longer soft-spoken and humble, our 2021 Cinderella (Camila Cabello) is a sassy, singing Latina boss girl with half-baked dressmaking dreams. She tries to be everything—funny, glamorous, self-reliant—but when Cabello’s jokes fall flat, her sass sounds borderline petulant.
After Cinderella angers the king by sitting on a statue of his father, she retorts, “Might I suggest you put some bleachers in the back? Give us short peasants a chance?”
That’s how Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) catches a glimpse of the smart-talking beauty. He impulsively buys the only dress she’s ever made and invites her to the royal ball. Cinderella says no, until she realizes the ball is exactly the place for an up-and-coming designer.
When gay actor Billy Porter takes his turn as a gender-fluid “fabulous godmother”—complete with a flashy orange dress and glitter—the wheels fall off this PG-rated fairy tale.
Progressive plot points and flimsy jokes aside, the movie knows how to drop a beat. It’s rollicking fun watching townspeople pound their shovels to Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” and evil stepsisters hang laundry to Madonna’s “Material Girl.”
But when hip-hop numbers and joke-riffing rats are the best parts of a fairy tale romance, that’s something not even a fairy godmother can fix.
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