Er, OK. (Cinder)Ella wants to be a dress designer, break into the male-dominated world of business and not give it all up to be a princess. The prince isn’t so much charming as a bit of a dork who seems to have walked straight off the set of Blackadder III. His sister, “the People’s Princess” (oh puh-lease!) lectures everyone about not buying so many catapults, and using wind power instead of fossil fuels.
The “Fabulous” Godmother is Billy Porter from Pose. The Wicked Stepmother, played by Idina Menzel, sings “Material Girl” and regrets not having had a career as a pianist. Before the ball, the prince sings “Somebody to Love”, and all the hopeful princesses sing “Whatta Man”. Everyone sings “Rhythm Nation”. The town crier is a rapper.
It’s a pretty star-studded cast, including James Corden, Romesh Ranganathan and James Acaster as three helpful mice who are turned into coachmen, and Pierce Brosnan and Minnie Driver stealing the show as the King and Queen – clearly not taking any of it seriously!
As long as you don’t take any of it seriously either, you’ll probably quite enjoy it. It’s very lively and cheerful, and it’s not so much a feminist rewrite as a gentle mockery of the whole fairy tale genre.
And, at the end, the prince decides to give up his royal status and travel the world with Ella, whilst his sister takes over as heir. Well, at least he decides to go travelling, rather than to lecture people about things he knows nothing about and tell lies about his family like, er, certain other people who might spring to mind and who are known to be quite pally with James Corden, who was one of the producers. So they ride off in unwedded bliss, with Ella declaring herself his “love” rather than his girlfriend, partner or anything else, because, hey, who needs labels?
If you prefer your fairy tales traditional, give this a miss. If you’re up for a laugh, give it a go!