The Opposite of Popular

The online home of alleged author Victoria Leybourne

the glass slippers

Glass Slippers Are An Objectively Terrible Idea

10 Comments

I went to see the new Cinderella movie today and I had a lot of feelings about it. This post is basically wall-to-wall spoilers so don’t read it if that is something you care about.

Okay, so there’s this girl called Ella

She’s growing up in an advert for fabric softener or picnic blankets or having servants or something

ella as a little girl

She talks to the geese and mice and whatever

And she is her parents’ little princess

NOT AN ACTUAL PRINCESS THOUGH

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ACTUAL PRINCESSES

WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS

FORESHADOWING?

Anyway, her mother dies suddenly of Plot

I mean they don’t even pretend it’s something else

She doesn’t even get that significant cough that people die of in period dramas

She just kind of keels over

But not before she screws her daughter up for life

By telling her to always let people treat her like crap

ella's dying mother smiling

Good luck with that.

(Actually she says “Have courage and be kind”

But the result is kind of the same.)

Anyway, years pass

Ella grows up

And her father presumably takes some kind of correspondence course with the University of Poor Life Choices

Because one day he’s like

“Welp, better marry a no-good, gold-digging meaniepants now.”

And he brings home Galadriel.

Guys

There is nothing wrong with wanting to marry Galadriel

Except Ella’s dad doesn’t bring home this Galadriel

galadriel being pretty

He brings home this one

galadriel being evil

Which is a mistake

No matter how cool her outfits are.

lady t in an enormous hat

Anyway, Evil!Galadriel

Whose name is actually Lady Tremaine

Throws a bunch of parties and stuff

Which Ella’s dad is not really into

In fact, he basically immediately starts acting like this whole marriage thing was something he was forced into

Even though he specifically says a couple of scenes earlier that he wants to do it

For happiness reasons

And goes on about how much he misses Ella’s mother

Which, I mean

I’m not a marriage expert or anything

But that seems like a good way to hurt the feelings of your new wife

You know

The one you really wanted to marry and be happy with.

It’s not totally inconceivable that she might be listening.

lady t in a doorway

She lives here.

Then again, he’s about to go away for several months

So I guess he can say what he likes.

He asks Ella what she’d like him to bring her back

She asks for the first branch he brushes against

In order to have a dead branch to cradle sadly when they hear that he’s died

I guess

Because THERE IS LITERALLY NO OTHER REASON SHE WOULD WANT A DEAD BRANCH WTF

Anyway

Luckily he does die

So that all works out okay.

ella crying

I really wanted to find a screencap of Ella and her branch but couldn’t, so here’s a picture of how that failure made me feel instead.

Sadly, Ella does not have long to cuddle her branch

Because she has a lot of important being-taken-advantage-of to do

ella doing laundry

It is not necessarily this movie’s fault that Ella doesn’t have a backbone

Cinderella is literally a story about a girl whose life sucks until a prince rescues her

However

So are a lot of stories

And there has been a recent trend towards playing with that a little bit and approaching fairytales with a slightly more modern perspective

During this part of the movie I kept thinking about Ella Enchanted and Ever After

Which are both Cinderella movies that give the character some agency

And they’re kind of better than this one.

Moving on

Cinderella only has one dress

And sleeps in a fireplace

So Lady Tremaine and her daughters, Anastasia and Drizella

Oh, yeah, she has daughters

I forgot to tell you that

But I feel like you might have known

Anyway

They bat around a couple of ideas for nicknames for Ella

In what is probably the most awkward way they could have made the title of the movie make sense

Before settling on …drumroll…

Cinderella

anastasia laughing at ella

drizella laughing

lady t laughing

It’s not that funny but they’re committed now.

Eventually Ella gets fed up and goes for a ride on her horse

Wait a minute

The family are so poor now

And Ella is so mistreated

That she has to run an entire household and a farm

On her own

Wearing the same totally inappropriate dress every day

But she still has a horse?

Okay.

Anyway, she meets a handsome prince

Who says he is an apprentice called Kitt

And apparently Ella thinks apprentices

Whether called Kitt or otherwise

Go out hunting with their entourages on a regular basis

Because she accepts that without question.

She also refuses to tell him her name

Ella seems to think mystery is very sexy

Because it’s basically the entirety of her playbook when it comes to picking up princes.

Ladies

If a guy is looking at you like this

the prince looking at ella in a love-at-first-sight kind of way

He might already be into you

Just a thought.

Also, they spend almost all of this conversation riding their horses around each other in a little circle

Maybe that’s sexy too.

What do I know?

ella and the prince on horses

So the Prince goes back to the palace

Gets his portrait painted

Hangs out with his dad

And annoys the crap out of everyone by talking about the time he met a real live ladyperson.

Again, this is a problem with Cinderella in general, not just this movie

And at least they actually get to meet before the ball

But damn

Where have they been keeping this dude?

Can you buy prince-sized boxes

Made of lady-resistant Tupperware?

In other palace news

This guy

the duke from the cinderella cartoon

Has been somehow split into his good and bad halves

Which I guess is maybe a side effect of being converted from animation to live action?

I’m guessing Disney made all the characters sign a waiver.

The good half is the Captain (left)

The bad half is the Grand Duke (right)

the captain and duke on horses

For now, though, they’re both kind of serving the same purpose as the Grand Duke does in the cartoon

FOR NOW

Everyone is trying to get the prince interested in the numerous princesses he has to choose from

For marriage purposes

But for someone who enjoyed meeting his first lady so much, he is not that interested in meeting more of them

So eventually the king figures that the best way to focus his mind would be to let him throw a party for every “maiden” in the kingdom

There was a lot of shaky logic in this part of the movie

Like, they were semi-justifying the party because it would make the people of the kingdom happy

Except that people who either own or have interacted with penises will not be invited

And I suspect that that is a majority

Who will be, if anything, less happy

Although at least they get to enjoy penises.

Also

The king and the prince have more than one conversation

About how the king totally gets that the prince doesn’t want to marry a random princess

And he isn’t going to make him

So why is this even an issue?

the king and prince

The prince is not a handwritten invitations type of guy

So he just kind of throws it up on Facebook

Which in fairytale times meant BOOKING some dude to yell at crowds of people using his FACE

And Ella

Who is in town to vaguely justify her situation to one of her former servants

(Apparently she puts up with Lady T’s crap because of how much her parents loved their house

They probably loved their daughter not getting abused more

But, again, what do I know?)

Hears the proclamation and rushes home to Awfulness HQ to tell everyone.

So Lady T orders three dresses

One for Anastasia

One for Drizella

And one for FUCK YOU, THAT’S WHO

Yeah, for some reason Ella thinks the third one is for her

I assume because she has put two and two together and figured out that Lady T is not a “maiden”

But Lady T breaks out a can of born-again virginity she’s been saving for just such an occasion as this

And Ella has to go and make a dress with her mouse friends.

the mice

A WORD ON THESE MOUSE FRIENDS

These mice are the SAME MICE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE MOVIE

THE BEGINNING OF THE MOVIE WHEN ELLA WAS A CHILD

HOW OLD ARE THESE MICE???

So Ella finishes her dress

Actually she was just altering one of her mother’s

And floats downstairs in it

Apparently STILL expecting Lady T to be like SURE DARLING LET’S GO I LOVE YOU

But what actually happens is they rip her dress up.

lady t rips ella's dress

And she is sad about it.

In fact, she goes outside to be sad about it there.

ella being sad outside

It’s her mother’s dress

And now it’s torn

I want you to remember that

IT’S HER MOTHER’S DRESS

AND IT’S IMPORTANT TO HER

Got that?

Okay.

While outside, she runs into her fairy godmother

Who may look like Helena Bonham Carter

But I’m fairly sure it’s an imposter

Because there’s no way Helena Bonham Carter looked this un-gothic of her own free will

the fairy godmother has blonde hair and a sparkly white dress

And she does all the pumpkin into carriage stuff

And turns a goose into the carriage driver

And he says “I can’t drive, I’m a goose.”

And that was the highlight of the movie for me.

Then Ella is like “I can’t go to the ball in this dress, it’s ripped.”

And Fauxlena Bonham Carter is like “Sure, no problem, I’ll make you another one.”

But Ella says “No, just fix this one

IT WAS MY MOTHER’S AND IS IMPORTANT TO ME”

So FBC says “Of course”

Then magics her A TOTALLY DIFFERENT DRESS

ella in her blue ballgown

And Ella is fine with that

Because frankly it would probably freak her out if someone actually listened to her.

So Cinderella goes to the ball

I actually don’t have much to say about that

Except that during this scene she and the prince basically dance into everyone repeatedly like well-dressed Roombas

ella and the prince dance surrounded by a crowd

And also what is the opposite of a sausagefest?

Because that’s what this party should be

Like, I get that there would be nobledudes there

But there would also be nobleladies

IN ADDITION to every maiden in the land

Just saying.

Then the prince takes Ella out to his playground

Because it is easy to impress girls when you are a prince

ella on a swing

And Ella still refuses to tell him her name

Because that is more of a third date conversation

Oh, and one of her shoes falls off

Because glass is a stupid thing to make shoes out of

The prince puts it back on

And that was probably meant to be romantic

Only glass does not breathe

And feet sweat a lot

So I feel like maybe that’s just proof that he likes her enough to put up with footstink rather than the moment he really fell for her

the glass slippers

Possibly not as nice as they look

DONG

It is midnight.

DONG

And Ella has to go before the magic wears off

DONG

In case he sees her looking all servanty and isn’t into her anymore.

Even though that’s exactly how she looked when he did the crazy eyes over her.

DONG

Or maybe she’s worried about getting home because her horses are about to turn back into mice.

Actually

DONG

Why didn’t she bring her actual horse with her?

DONG

The point is

DONG

DONG

DONG

DONG

DONG

DONG

The point is that she runs off

Leaving a shoe

But no identifying information

(I want to see a version of this story

Where the prince gives up on finding her

And just clones her from DNA in her foot sweat.)

HERE WE DIVERGE FROM THE ORIGINAL CARTOON SLIGHTLY

Because Lady T figures out who the mysterious prince-hogging stranger was pretty quickly

And makes a deal with the Archduke

Whereby she gets to be a countess and to marry off her daughters

In exchange for helping to stop the prince marrying Ella.

The Archduke is up for this

Probably because he resents having to share his role with the Captain

Who is better than him

But this turns out to just be a ploy to needlessly make the movie longer

Because the prince goes ahead with his “put this weird shoe on every foot in the kingdom” plan anyway

This tweet from writer and all-round funnyperson Mara Wilson is relevant here

Oh, and then the king falls victim to that lethal Plot that’s going around

I’m not really sure why

But that happens

MEANWHILE AT SHITTY PARENTING TOWERS

Ella gets locked in an attic

ella against a locked door

Team Get The Prince Laid arrives

Shoe in hand

I would not want to own that hand

It must be verruca city in that shoe right now

The shoe does not fit Drizella or Anastasia

How freakishly tiny are Ella’s feet

That not one other person in the kingdom can cram their hooves in there?

Anyway

The ARMY OF DUDES it apparently takes to guard this one shoe are about to leave

When Captain Goodguy hears singing

And the prince throws off his soldier disguise

Even an army is not enough to guard one stupid shoe without supervision

And the Captain goes to investigate.

In the attic, Ella tells Lady T that she’s only ever tried to be kind to her

Which is kind of a weaksauce version of the scene in Ever After

Where the Cinderella character lays into her stepmother about how lousy she is at stepmothering

You guys should probably just watch Ever After

So Ella leaves with the Prince

And there is a wedding and the movie is over

Except

What about the house?

It was so important that she stay in the house that she put up with all that abuse

But she’ll leave it immediately for Prince Crazyeyes?

Who’s going to look after those ridiculously old mice now?

Does Ella ever get to wear a dress that isn’t blue?

Does the goose ever get his driving licence?

I have questions, Disney.

QUESTIONS.

I hope you enjoyed reading this! I’ve always been a fan of shouty recaps of stuff (Myths RETOLD and Movies in 15 Minutes spring immediately to mind) and wanted to have a stab at doing one myself.

It’s not that I didn’t like this movie. I enjoyed watching it and laughed at the funny bits. I guess I just felt like it wasted some potential. Going into it, I actually thought it was going to be a direct remake of the Disney cartoon. It wasn’t, and didn’t have any of the songs – except in the credits – and that’s okay, because we can all rewatch the cartoon for that. But it’s not like a live-action version is something that hasn’t been done before either and this felt kind of weak to me, especially compared to the pre-existing Ever After and Ella Enchanted. I’m happy to give it another chance when it comes out on DVD, though!

Screencaps from here, here and here.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Glass Slippers Are An Objectively Terrible Idea

  1. Hysterical. I shared the shit out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not that anyone reads my shit, so that’s no help to your cred whatsoever.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do people still have “cred”s?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. HA! Officially my favorite Cinderella review! Well done!

    Like

  5. Very funny review. I’m almost reserved enough to believe your name should be a third date conversation, if only it wasn’t improper to converse with strangers….

    Honestly I was too mesmerized by the magnificence of the sets to question the grossness of the maidens of the entire kingdom trying on the shoe: but you’re right, that’s icky!

    I do have to disagree with you on two points: It would have been weird for Anastasia and Druesella to attend the ball without their mother since back then young ladies did not go to parties with out a mature adult to chaperones (or police) them. Although with her wardrobe, she really didn’t need a new dress.

    The other thing that bothered me was your objection to the shows message: have courage and be kind. Being kind to others isn’t turning yourself into a doormat. It’s taking others feelings, thoughts and motives into account when you deal with them, and trying to achieve a positive result. Being kind does require courage, since the world is harsh, and others will not always reciprocate your positive energy. If someone had the courage to choose kindness, which is often not a natural choice, they will also be brave enough to defend themself against injustice. Plus since they are practiced at being kind they will be able to frame their arguments in a more palatable manner. The flip side is, when people realize you genuinely, sincerely wish them well, 9/10 of them will respond. Life becomes easier since others are more willing to collaborate with you and the number of (unnecessary) battles you have to fight is diminished. Kindness has its own form of power, just like love does. This isn’t something that kid’s – or even most adults are taught, and I was impressed by this show for sharing it.

    Like

    • Hi! Thanks so much for your comment, I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I take your point about “have courage and be kind” – there are, of course, far worse messages a movie can have, and I was mostly being facetious. However, I would argue that Ella seems to interpret her mother’s well-meant message as an invitation to let others walk all over her: we never see her stand up for herself, and when she half-heartedly confronts her stepmother she says she was trying to be “kind” to her. “Kind” is not the word I would use to describe their master-slave relationship. And Ella’s interpretation of kindness becomes the movie’s: the takeaway message as I saw it was “don’t worry if people are taking advantage of you, because one day a prince will save you!”

      I’m more than happy to agree to disagree about this, though, because I certainly see where you’re coming from.

      Like

  6. Pingback: Disclaimer | Victoria Leybourne: The Opposite of Popular

  7. Pingback: Happy Blogiversary to me! | Victoria Leybourne

Talk to me. If you want. A comfortable silence is cool too.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s