I have been watching a lot of Cinderella movies lately. When I get home from work, it's usually just me, my mom, and my little sister at home, and my mom and I usually have no energy to do much of anything—hence the chick flicks. I think it's safe to say that Cinderella is the ultimate chick flick—what girl doesn't want here very own Prince Charming? (Although I must say that I am more of a Beauty and the Beast type girl myself—I would rather melt a man's heart than to get a man that is already perfect.)
It is hard to say which Cinderella version is my favorite. There are, after all, so many to choose from.
Ever After. This movie has some of the best movie quotes of all time—many of them are Princess Bride worthy. My favorite is, "First I am arrogant, and now I have no pride; however do I manage that?" But "I shall go down in history as the man who opened the door!" is also quite awesome. I also think they did a really good job in catching the time period—what is is, the 16th century? And of course, I feel immensely smart whenever Danielle quotes Utopia because that is one of the few things I actually enjoyed reading in English 291. In addition to the classic quotes, this movie also has several classic funny parts. My favorite would have to be the sobbing French? girl. I watch this movie fairly regularly and it would probably win the top spot in my Cinderella list if it weren't for two things: the prince is a jerk and I don't like Drew Barrymore. I have mostly gotten past the prince-is-a-jerk thing, but Drew Barrymore will forever bug me.
Ella Enchanted. Ella Enchanted is one of my most favorite books in the world, and the movie is nothing like it. It is probably the most poorly made movie-based-on-a-book I have ever seen. However, because the movie is so different from the book, I am pretty much able to forget that it is based on a wonderfully crafted story and enjoy it for completely unoriginal movie that it is. I don't understand why I keep watching this movie. At times it is embarrassingly stupid, the "special effects" suck, and the sets just look fake. But I keep watching it anyway. I think the fact that it is a Cinderella parody is the only reason why I like it—there is no other logical reason.
The animated one. I haven't actually seen this one for a really long time. From what I remember, the prince is a very minor character, Cinderella and the prince can sing to each other without opening their mouths, the cat is always running into things and deforming its nose, the dog looks like Pluto, and the mice like to eat some sort of food that look like kernels of corn. But, it is still beloved because it is one of the classic Disney movies that I grew up with.
1960s Rogers and Hammerstein version. I could go on all day about this movie—I don't quite know where to start. I'm pretty sure there was no budget for this movie. The actors volunteered their time and the props were donated by kindergartners. (Who else would sincerely believe that trees are made out of colored paper?) And unfortunately, all of the men forgot their pants. The only one who gets to wear pants is the king—and he's wearing a dress. The prince is forced to don a shirt made out of shiny trash-bag material, and the commoners just have to stick with the tights and a non-shiny shirt. Most unfortunate. The acting and musical abilities are also severely lacking. The more I hear Cinderella sing the more I want her to shut up, and all of the prince's lines are hilariously badly delivered. My favorite lines are "I am DYING of thirst" and "I am fatigued"—the first one is wildly exaggerated and the second is matter-of-factly boring. However, the prince does have a rather lovely singing voice as long as you don't watch him too much. However, I absolutely love the music. Too bad no one can do it justice in this movie, except perhaps the prince. So if this movie is horribly acted and utterly embarrassing in every form, why do I keep watching it? Three reasons: (1) as mentioned before, I love the music, (2) it is insanely fun to make fun of, and (3) I grew up with this movie. There was a time when I thought Cinderella had a beautiful voice, when I thought her dress was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen, and the pantless men didn't bother me. Tiffany and I would take turns singing the girl part in "Ten Minutes Ago" and would sing along with the entire movie, lost in the magic of the music. Now watching this movie leaves much to be desired.
1990s Rogers and Hammerstein version. When I first discovered that the 1960s version was ridiculous, I was delighted to find that there was a more modern version available. However, it's not a whole lot better. I just can't get over the family tree—the mom is black, the dad is white, and the son is Chinese. I'm no biologist, but I'm pretty sure that's not how it works. The singing is SO much better, but the movie is just so weirdly made that I often find myself wishing for the old version while I'm watching it. Maybe some day someone will do that movie justice.
The Slipper and the Rose. I am glad to say that my current experience with this movie doesn't interfere with my childhood memories of it. Yes, some of the choreography is a bit stupid, but watching a bunch of old men dance on a table still makes me giggle. And yes, the prince isn't as amazing of a gymnast during his "What a Comforting Thing to Know" song as I once thought he was, but he is fun to watch all the same. I could listen to Richard Chamberlain sing all day, Gemma Craven is the perfect Cinderella—beautiful, sweet, and innocent—and the storyline makes more sense than most Cinderella plots. The movie is definitely a bit dated, but I will continue to watch it because it is just . . . good.
So which is my favorite Cinderella movie? I think it would be a tie between Ever After and The Slipper and the Rose. The Slipper and the Rose has the nostalgic element, and that counts for a lot. The music is wonderful and the actors can act (for the most part). Although I'm still not sure where the "rose" from the title comes from. I always thought I would understand that when I got older, but I'm still a bit confused by that. Hmm. Ever After is a good, modern fairy tale. The story has a believable plot and it tugs at my emotions more than any other Cinderella movie. It might be a tad above The Slipper and the Rose because I'm not always in the mood of watching a long musical.
I wonder if my Cinderella opinions will change at all after I'm married. All of these perfect romance movies might be distorting my vision a bit. But a girl can dream, can't she?