Why Cinderella Will Restore Your Faith in Hollywood

{By Ellery Sadler}

The new Cinderella movie is more than magical. 

cinderella movie christian review

If you have lost your faith in movies (heaven forbid), or Hollywood, or humanity in general, grab your popcorn and a friend and head to the movies.

Cinderella is here.

I was somewhat skeptical on my way to the theater. Another princess movie? Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ll watch pretty much any princess movie. I love princesses. (And princes.) But after the flop of Mirror Mirror and the frenzy with fairytales, I was a little bit tired of the whole idea. Still, I was curious.

Would there be a twist? What would the stepmother be like? Was the prince cool?

The lights dim and the music swells and Cinderella begins. 

This movie captured me with its simplicity and charm. The costumes are fantastic and the scenery is beautiful. But what really impressed me was the integrity of the story.

With non of the slapstick humor of Mirror Mirror or the violence (and frequent screaming) of Maleficent, Cinderella was a beautiful success.

The story is simply Cinderella. Not new, but never old. 

Three things stood out to me from the film.

Family Life 

I fell in love with Ella’s parents. Her father’s kindness – and checkered pants – were instantly endearing. The way he danced with Ella and kissed his wife were reminiscent of a bygone era of chivalry and nobility. Ella’s mother was strong and sweet and caring. Obviously, they were trying to show that Ella had an idyllic childhood and they did an excellent job. This kind of family is unusual in today’s culture, and a great portrayal of what home life can be like.

I also loved Prince Kit’s relationship with his father. Unlike your typical father-son tension, Kit admires and loves his father. One of my favorite scenes was when the king is sick and Prince Kit refuses to marry someone he does not love, even if his father requests it. There is a moment when you’re afraid the king will be angry, but instead he is relieved. Kit has become his own man. Their mutual love and respect is so refreshing.

The Innocent Romance 

This is the first movie I’ve seen in years where there is no kiss before the wedding.

Granted, Ella and her prince were interrupted at one moment  where it looked like they were about to kiss, but still. The only kisses in this movie are between Ella’s parents and Ella and the prince at their wedding. How cool is that? The innocence of Ella, as compared to the scheming stepsisters who are willing to flaunt themselves in hopes of catching the prince’s eye, is beautiful.

I was surprised to see the film portray innocence and purity and modesty in such a positive light. While other girls at the ball are wearing low-cut dresses, Ella’s dress is tasteful (and gorgeous).

Selfishness as Evil

The stepmother in Cinderella might be my favorite villain. Instead of the blood-chilling evil of Snow White’s stepmother, Cinderella’s stepmother is believable. She is selfish. She is jaded. But she is not ‘evil’. The only truly evil in her is her selfishness. She hates watching Ella because Ella was her father’s pride and joy. She hates that Ella captures the prince’s fancy because she wants her own daughters to be queen. She schemes and plots and neglects Ella, but she is not a monster. I really appreciated the fact that they allowed her to still be human. Her selfishness destroyed her. And that is a lesson we should all remember.

I love that the theme of the movie is:

Have courage and be kind.

That is a solid life motto if I’ve ever heard one. Courage, paired with kindness, will take you far in life. There was no ‘follow your dreams’ or ‘listen to your heart’ or ‘do what makes you happy’ nonsense. Ella’s mother didn’t say be kind if others are kind to you. Or be kind, unless you get hurt and then you don’t have to be. She simply said be kind and have courage.

The innocent charm of this movie, the way it did not compromise the integrity of the classic story, makes it one of my new favorites. I love that it is just titled Cinderella, as it should be. It is a beautiful rendition of the fairytale. After the last couple of movies I’ve seen, my faith in Hollywood’s ability to make a decent, family-friendly movie was wavering.

But Cinderella changes all that. It’s a good movie. A fun, light-hearted movie. The stuff girlhood dreams are made of.

It is a classic fairytale told in a classy way.

I highly recommend you watch it!

 

Have you seen Cinderella? What did you think? Comment below! 

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