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Movie Review- A Cinderella Story (2004)

In the 2000’s, many movies targeting female teenagers could regularly be seen in movie theaters. Some of the movies were inspired by fairy tales or princesses. Many were not as good as others, but one of my favorites is A Cinderella Story. Recently, YouTube movies posted the movie to watch for free with ads. Since I enjoyed it so much as a teenager, I wanted to rewatch it and write a review about it.

A Cinderella Story is a modernization of the Cinderella story. It stars Hilary Duff as Samantha “Sam” Montgomery and Chad Michael Murphy as Austin Ames. The movie also stars Jennifer Coolidge and Regina King. The movie is about Sam, a teenager who in the San Fernando Valley area of California that lost her father in the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, eight years before the movie takes place. When the movie begins, Sam lives with her stepmother, Fiona (Jennifer Coolidge), and Fiona’s two daughters. She also works at the dinner Sam’s father owned before he passed away. Sam has trouble fitting in at her high school but has dreams of going to college at Princeton. While in a Princeton chat group, she became an online pen pal of someone who goes by the name “Nomad”. Nomad attends the same high school as Sam, who goes by the online name “Princeton Girl”. As Sam struggles with her life, she confides in Nomad.

As the Halloween dance approaches, Nomad asks Sam if they could meet at the Halloween dance. This leads to Sam’s decision if she should defy her step mother’s orders and run the risk of not only being rejected by Nomad, but also run into her step sisters that would be at the dance as well.

I liked the movie and it’s modernized version of the Cinderella story, even if the “modern” version is over 15 years old. (Hilary Duff used a flip phone, the computer monitor she uses is very 2004, and the step sister drove VW Beetles and wore Juicy Couture track suits.) Despite this, the story is well told and I don’t mind the now outdated style to it. For me, it adds a style to the movie that does date it, but makes gives it a unique style that sets it apart from other Cinderella inspired movies that came out before it.

The plot is very easy to follow and the happy ending Cinderella had in the original story does happen, but how the happy ending worked out was different than in the original Cinderella story. This made the movie very enjoyable and less predictable.

The one complaint I have about the movie is the same complaint about movies targeted to a teenager audience during the 2000’s. The movie’s way of dealing with bullying at school, as well as what happened to the bullies, is not something I can see happening in real life. I personally never liked the way the bullies are treated in the teen movies of the 2000’s, and A Cinderella Story was not exception. When I was a teenager, I thought it was my personal experience after being bullied that clouded my judgement about A Cinderella Story, but now that I re watched the movie, I can see what I picked up on and why.

I recommend this movie to anyone with young girls who are into princess, pink, and fairy tales. Also, I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to watch a movie that isn’t very complicated to follow, clean, is inspired by Cinderella, and Hilary Duff fans.

Well, that’s all for now! Thank you for reading!


Disclaimer: All the information about this movie, such as director, writer, or actor names, was found online via the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb) or articles found from websites such as and Rotten Tomatoes.

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