Another Cinderella Story Damon Santostefano

This contemporary rehash of the familiar Cinderella tale takes advantage of the recent successes of the High School Musical films by casting High School alum Drew Seeley and making Cinderella an aspiring Latina dancer who pines after a boy band superstar. Glass slippers are replaced with MP3 players and magical mice with offensively stereotypical Asian men but the overall story is essentially the same, but updated with homosexuals, Paris Hilton jokes and bare midriffs. Ten-year-old girls will likely delight in the catchy songs and enthusiastic group choreography, along with the many waxed, asexual boys, but everyone else will find the atrocious dialogue, sloppy editing and overall cheesiness impeding and overbearing. On the upside, Disney Channel alum Selena Gomez is perfectly affable and passable in the lead Cinderella role, doing a decent job with a character that, like most others in the film, has very little complexity and ambition outside of the desire to dance and possibly dry hump a pseudo-celebrity. The inclusion of both Ginger Snaps sisters (Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins) as the wicked stepsisters is entirely bizarre but certainly welcome and somewhat entertaining in a kitschy, familiar way. It is also depressing, as Ms. Isabelle in particular has demonstrated a range of talent that should be utilized with material far superior to this. Jane Lynch also slums it with her portrayal of a washed up pop-star-cum-wicked stepmother. However, she seems to take a certain glee in the sheer randomness of her role, which must have been improvised, for the most part. The DVD includes a variety of special features, which like the film, are brief, shallow and loud. There are music videos and sing-alongs, as well as featurettes that centre on the choreography, the wardrobe and individual characters. The style and brevity are much like a Disney channel commercial snippet, which is appropriate given the audience. (Warner)