12 January 2013

Movie Review: "Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale"

Rated: G for general audiences Starring: Ashlee Hewitt, Sterling Knight, and Kiely Williams
Year Released: 2010
Synopsis: Elle Daniels (Ashlee Hewitt) is living with her Uncle Owen (Thomas Calabro) after her parents died in a plane crash six months ago. However, Owen happens to be an executive at Spun Records, which would be great...if it weren't for their biggest act, Sensation, a female pop trio who use Elle as their slave. Elle herself dreams of having a singing career, and has the talent for it, but lacks the courage to try out for a scholarship at a performing arts college. Mega-star Ty Parker (Sterling Knight, StarStruck) wants a contract with Spun Records, and is offered a duet with British star Kandi Kane (Kiely Williams, The Cheetah Girls)...but, when he meets Elle, who has had a crush on him for years, she pretends to be Kandi! Ty knows that the girl, whoever she is, was meant to be his duet partner...but will he ever find her?

Story: 4/5
The whole Cinderella thing has been done numerous times; even the original Cinderella Story movie with Hilary Duff had two sequels, one with Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place), the other with Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars).  Still, as King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, "There is nothing new under the sun," so it's not really a problem that many movies take their cue from classic stories, including fairy tales.  It's not very original, but the cast and crew make it work pretty well.

Production Values: 3.5/5
Though this isn't a high-budget production, the cast and crew do pretty well; still, the lack of money is evident at times.  Some of the performances aren't that great; Shawn-Caulin Young's portrayal of the goofy, dimwitted coffee-shop guy was a bit over the top.  Where the movie really shines is the music; there isn't a bad performance to be seen.

Moral Content: 4.5/5
A "G" rating is a good sign of family-friendliness, and this movie definitely has it.  There's little, if any, profane language; no drug use; and, the only violence is slapstick comedy.  However, it foibles a bit in the realm of sexual content...but only a bit.  Some of the outfits worn by female characters--including Kandi, the lead girl from Sensation, and even Elle--show a bit of skin.  Other than that, there's nothing worse than kissing.

Conclusion: Music-based kiddie entertainment is everywhere these days, and Elle is a good example of it.  Frankly, this movie isn't something you or your kids will want to watch again and again; it has a very telefilm feel to it, as if it was meant to be watched only once and then forgotten.  Still, compared to much of the entertainment directed at children and teens these days, Elle is far more morally sound.  This would make a good rental for a family movie night, but that's about it.

Final Score: 3.5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment