If a franchise isn’t broken, why fix it? This seems to be the perpetual question behind this romcom series that was first introduced to us with the Hillary Duff led film and has since produced four additional titles (including ‘If the Shoe Fits’), all unrelated to the other but each retells the iconic fable.
A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits (2016) TV Film Review
Tessa (Sofia Carson) has a challenged life. Not only does her stepfamily treat her as little more than a servant, to make matters worse, her stepmother (Jennifer Tilly) and two stepsisters who enjoy this. Things change when her step family prepares to audition for a play (a Cinderella re-telling, naturally), in disguise Tessa auditions. To audition, she plays famous British pop star, Bella. Things get complicated when she falls for her leading man, Reed (Thomas Law).
Finding a way to be both proves difficult for Tessa. But when Reed shows a greater interest in Tessa than Bella, she must find a way to reveal who she really is.
Despite the repetitive themes and the occasional overemphasized sappy (*insert eye roll*) moment, I really enjoy these lighthearted romantic-comedies. This is no exception to that rule. I love everything about this little film, including the fact that there are some “twists.” This is the fourth to follow the A Cinderella Story footsteps, and it’s easily one of the best. While Selena Gomez’s was high on (over)sappy romantics and Lucy Hale’s opts for more “adult” humor (and then there was that one that I cannot remember with a blonde Cinderella). This one finds an in-between that works. The opening is unnecessary (it’s a musical production), but once that obligatory scene is out of the way, the rest is smoother sailing.‘A CINDERELLA STORY: IF THE SHOE FITS’ (2016) – Dancing Through an Iconic Fable #FWarchives Click To Tweet
The cast does a nice job with their roles only don’t expect anything different from the stepsister characterizations. They’re still over-the-top ridiculous, but it was entertaining to see Jennifer Tilly as the stepmother, Divine. (Tilly was immediately a familiar face from A&E’s period drama The Magnificent Andersons.) Then there is Sofia Carson, who makes a convincing “Cinderella” (all sweetness and light even as she’s ill-treated). Fans of Disney will love seeing the Descendants star in this darling bit of fluff.
Though each of these sequels have been direct-to-DVD titles, they’re worth a rental if you like this sort of production. What I like about this one is that Tessa’s disguise is more believable than 99% of its peers; and there isn’t some dramatic “break up” ten minutes before the end. Instead the story wraps up minus this “filler,” and tells its story in its own way, which I respected. If you’re anything like me, you’d enjoy this one for your next Saturday night in. Watch it with your sister or mother, and simply enjoy it for what it is; silly romance that’s purpose is no greater than to entertain.
So before you go into this one, go into it with that simple premise and you’ll probably walk away with a smile.
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