Saturday, August 22, 2015

After the Ball

I heard about this new movie via Surlalune, After the Ball, a modern retelling of Cinderella set in the fashion world. It's such a natural setting for the story. Heidi warned that it was along the lines of a Hallmark movie, but I'm a sucker for all those "fashion" movies and shows that attempt to be like Devil Wears Prada, and of course a fun fairy tale retelling, so I was happy this was available on Netflix Instant Play. It only has 1 1/2 stars on Netflix, so I was prepared for less than stellar quality, but it ended up being perfect for a girls' date with a friend.

Maybe it was just because I had low expectations, but I liked it! Not like it's the greatest Cinderella retelling ever-I'd rate it under Ever After and Year of the Fish but way above Hilary Duff's A Cinderella Story. Some parts were annoying-like the way overused cliche of the protagonist who is so awkward she literally falls over things in every scene, or the stupid stepsister being too stupid.

But: I liked that, while it was clearly a Cinderella story, it was more subtle than some retellings. In fact, I thought the whole element of Kate's disguise was pretty clever. It was unique-they recognized that it was a nod to Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," but I don't think I've heard of another Cinderella retelling where her "rags" are a disguise as a male (although her "rags" can also be seen as her less-than-cutting-edge-of-fashion wardrobe). It was a little painful to see her attempt to impersonate a male fashion designer so awkwardly, but I also liked the idea that sometimes a disguise or costume can be a way to gain confidence (and apparently once you've gained professional courage you stop tripping over everything in sight).
(Kate's disguise made me miss Christian Siriano and the early seasons of Project Runway)

I also liked the scene of the identification by shoe-because Kate's disguise is so unusual it was a unique way for her "Prince" to show that he knew her secret, not that he was so oblivious he couldn't recognize his true love without a ball gown on. The ending was also satisfying, the way Kate and her friends engineered a just punishment for the stepmother and stepsisters without going too violent (like birds pecking out their eyes) or too naively forgiving, which isn't very satisfying.

Also, Colin Mochrie?? Was surprised to see him show up as a rival fashion I want to watch "Whose Line is It Anyway?".

This about sums it up:

It's predictable and cheesy, but it's still a fun chick flick if that's what you're in the mood for-easy, girly fun.


  1. "I don't think I've heard of another Cinderella retelling where her "rags" are a disguise as a male"

    You might want to check out Three Wishes for Cinderella. Not quite the same approach, but it also features a crosdressing as a means for the heroine to get to know the prince

    1. Thanks! I've heard of this before but have never seen it. Good to know!