Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale (2010)

dir. John Dunson & Sean Dunson

Even the title is way off, because this story about an aspiring pop star has very few, if any, parallels with the Cinderella fairy tale. Does our plucky heroine Elle live with her evil stepmother and stepsisters? No, she lives with a man constantly referred to as “Uncle Allen” even though the movie is careful to explicitly state that he is not actually anyone’s uncle. But there must be some form of evil stepmother and stepsisters, surely? Well, there’s a bitchy popstar trio who saunter in, call Elle names beginning with ‘E’ that aren’t her name, then saunter out again. Does Elle slave away in forced servitude? She’s an intern at Uncle Allen’s record label, so sort of, but also, not really. How about Prince Charming? A famous pop star overhears Elle singing and falls in love with her instantly; why she decides to adopt a fake British accent and temporarily pretend to be a different person is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile. the glass slipper is replaced with… nothing, there’s nothing. Instead we have classic tropes like the awkward budding romance between the geeky stereotype sidekicks, and a montage featuring our heroine dressing up in all manner of hideous sparkly outfits – all underpinned by Elle’s burning desire to go to music college. It’s not really Cinderella. It’s not really anything.

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