If you feel like you’ve seen more than enough remakes of the Cinderella fairytale, you’re probably right — but the new Amazon Original version starring Camilla Cabello might be worth the watch anyway. The remake of the classic tale also features Idina Menzel, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter and James Corden. The latter is a producer on the film and the voice of James, making up one third of the talking mice trio.
The movie musical was written and produced by “30 Rock” and “Pitch Perfect” alum, Kay Cannon, whose contemporary reimagining of the tale gives old Cinderella the boot and makes way for Ella, a self-taught dressmaker who doesn’t dream about true love, but about her career aspirations as a world-renowned designer.
“Wait, so I could rewrite this story in a way that would’ve spoken to my younger self?” Cannon said about getting the opportunity to write the movie in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Cannon’s rewrite stays true to the classic story in many ways. Audiences don’t miss out on the whimsy of the journey of the mistreated girl to the ultimate makeover from a magical godparent, and eventually the transformation into a princess. But this version of “Cinderella” incorporates modern twists that are sure to appeal to a new generation of viewers. Not only is the title character given a girlboss upgrade, but the traditionally female role of the Fairy Godmother is rebranded as Fabulous Godmother or “Fab G” for short, and is filled by the Tony and Emmy award winner, Billy Porter.
“It evolved and the thing that came out of the evolution was ‘magic has no gender,’ so make it genderless, gender-free, gender-fluid whatever you want to say,” said Porter in an interview with Insider. “There is no gender.”
The new version of the story carves out space for hard-hitting relevant topics like gender inequality, as seen through Ella’s struggle to establish herself as a businesswoman, and environmental concerns, mentioned in quips from supporting character Princess Gwen.
While this is by no means a groundbreaking performance of Cinderella by Camilla Cabello, she holds her ground amongst a cast of seasoned actors including Pierce Brosnan and “Modern Love” star, Minnie Driver. She won’t be getting any nods from the Academy, but Cabello’s performance was humorous and light-hearted, making for a fair acting debut. Say what you want about her acting skills, but one thing is for sure: This girl can sing.
The former member of pop girl group Fifth Harmony shows off her pipes in an original song she wrote for the soundtrack titled, “Million to One.” She also accompanies Idina Menzel in another original track, “Dream Girl.”
“If you take it out of the movie, it’s a universal cry for all the struggle of not being recognized and appreciated for who you are, and the pain of someone telling you that your dreams don’t matter … I’m so fortunate [Cannon] trusted me with this — it’s really a milestone in my career,” Menzel commented about the song.
The movie features other sing-along-friendly popular tracks like Queen’s “Somebody to Love” sung by Prince Robert (Galitzine). In his only scene in the film, Billy Porter puts on perhaps the best performance in the movie with Earth, Wind & Fire’s hit, “Shining Star.”
With an abundance of color, music, action and romance, “Cinderella” has a lot to offer for a wide range of audiences. It’s a great family movie that skews toward younger viewers, and can be enjoyed by older ones too. While this probably won’t make your list of must-watch Cinderella remakes, I can’t say you’ll regret giving it a watch. “Cinderella” is in theaters now and available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.