A popular movie of our time that puts a very modern twist on the traditional Cinderella tale that we all know.
Although the movie adds some modern twists to the plot, it preserves the essences of Perrault’s Cinderella. At the beginning, the step-mother reveals her wicked through some mean words. The step-mother is still the powerful force that abuses Sam and obstructs Sam going to the Homecoming Dance. On the other hand, instead of fairy mother, Sam gets help from one of the staffs from the restaurant and is able to make it to the dance. However, Sam has to get back before her step-mother at 12. As we have mentioned in class about the imbalance between the good and the evil in Cinderella story in Warner’s essay, the authentic power still lies on the step-mother, the bad side.
One of the most distinct features of the movie is that Prince Charming and Cinderella Sam have gotten to know each other before they have even met. Cinderella Story does not involve many subplots but dig into develops the characteristic of its protagonists. Also, replacing the glass slipper with the mobile phone links Cinderella Story to the modern audiences.
Even though this modern day movie does depict a “Cinderella Story,” there are major differences throughout the film that question the closeness of its ties to a traditional Cinderella tale in terms of the unwavering servitude, or lack of freedom, and the essential goal of the Cinderella character.
Cinderella, or Sam, strives to do well in school and after obtaining a good education, she dreams of attending Princeton. Sam however, does not passively dream of what could be. She works hard and applies herself in order to send an application to Princeton with no added help. In following the traditional plot of the Cinderella story, Cinderella has one goal and that is to marry her true love. Sam’s ultimate goal is to attend Princeton and she so happens to have a romance along with her original dream. The romantic aspect of Sam’s desires is where she receives assistance, similarly with the traditional Cinderella story. Also, Sam seems to have some sense of freedom compared to a traditional subservient Cinderella character. Sam can leave the house whenever she pleases unless instructed to do a chore for her stepfamily who comes off as more comical than mean spirited. She also directly disobeys her stepmother when she attends the school dance compared to the traditional tale where her stepfamily is simply unaware that she was made it to the ball. These differences pull this modern day Cinderella Story away from the traditional tale as it seems to follow the very basic general guidelines of a rags-to-riches story while exemplifying a modern twist on women’s goals.
I agree completely that Sam is not a passive “Cinderella” character. This movie would definitely go against Karen Rowe’s argument about the inferiority of women in fairytales. Sam does not wait around for a man to find her before she pursues her dreams. She is always working hard in school and out of school because she wants to go to Princeton so badly. In this aspect, the movie differs from the traditional tale, but many of the main points are still seen throughout the movie.
Along with the development of Cinderella, Sam, as an intelligent girl with academic aspirations, the movie focuses on Austin Ames as having an actual personality. We have not seen or read in any of the material we have been studying that the “prince” hardly thinks of any single idea outside of finding his cinderella. Austin Ames is a smart, athletic, and well-mannered young-man with desirable qualities that any girl couldn’t resist. The movie does a good job of focusing on the two separate characters in their own development while foreshadowing the inevitable relationship.
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