Movie Review: A Cinderella Story

A Cinderella Story Trailer

A Cinderella Story Summary

Seventeen-year-old Samantha “Sam” Montgomery is a waitress at a diner in the San Fernando Valley run by her stepmother, the vain and greedy Fiona; she received ownership of the diner as well as the family inheritance after Sam’s widowed father, Hal, died in the Northridge earthquake eight years before and seemingly left no will. Sam is trying to save money to attend her dream college, Princeton, but is regularly tormented by her stepfamily, which includes Fiona and her twin daughters Brianna and Gabriella, with Fiona taking Sam’s earnings and using the inheritance to spend on luxuries instead of necessities like water. Sam also struggles to fit in at North Valley High School, where she’s bullied by the popular clique including head cheerleader and queen bee, Shelby Cummings. At the same time, Sam confides in her online pen pal “Nomad”, who shares her dream to attend Princeton to become a writer, her best friend but outcast, Carter Farrell, and finds comfort in the diner staff, including Rhonda the manager, Eleanor, a waitress and Bobby the chef. “Nomad”‘s true identity is Austin Ames, the popular yet unhappy quarterback of the school’s football team, The Fighting Frogs, and Shelby’s boyfriend who he attempts to break up with. His father, Andy, has arranged for his son to attend the University of Southern California with a football scholarship.

“Nomad” and Sam plan to meet at the school’s Halloween dance, and she attends wearing a white masquerade mask and a beautiful wedding dress as “Cinderella.” The two share a romantic dance together, but while Sam learns “Nomad” is Austin, the inverse doesn’t happen and Sam has to go back to the diner for her midnight shift. She leaves without revealing her identity to Austin, unaware that she’s named the homecoming princess along with Austin as the homecoming prince by Mrs. Wells, the principal; she also drops her cellphone on her way out, which is picked up by Austin. She gets delayed because Carter stood up for Shelby at the dance from being forced by a boy, in result, she was making out with him. Finally, Sam and Carter flee to the diner, and the staff attempts to stall Fiona to give Sam enough time to come back, which she does. Brianna and Gabriella discover Sam’s emails to Austin and realize that Sam is “Cinderella”; after failing to convince Austin that they are “Cinderella”, they present the emails to Shelby and convince her that Sam tried to steal Austin from her. To retaliate, Shelby, Brianna and Gabriella perform a mean-spirited skit at a school pep rally, horrifying the school staff as the emails are read aloud and Sam’s identity is revealed to Austin. Humiliated and upset that Austin didn’t stand up for her, Sam leaves in tears.

Like Austin, Sam had been accepted to Princeton, only to be duped by Fiona into believing she was rejected by having a fake rejection letter made in order to keep Sam working at the diner and as her slave. Frustrated with her stepmother’s emotional abuse for almost a decade and her school-wide humiliation, Sam stands up to Fiona, quits her job at the diner and moves out to live with Rhonda. Rhonda and the rest of the diner staff also resign, having only stayed for Sam’s sake after Hal’s death, and the disgusted customers also storm out after witnessing everything.

Before the school’s homecoming football game, Sam confronts Austin about his cowardice and lies. Before the final play of the game, he sees Sam leaving the stands and runs to apologize to her, but only after standing up to his father due to not wanting to play football for the rest of his life. She accepts his apology and they share their first kiss, much to the dismay of Shelby, Brianna and Gabriella, as the football team wins. The drought her city was facing suddenly ends. Soon after, Sam finds Hal’s will hidden in her childhood fairytale book, which states that all of his money, belongings, the house and diner actually belong to her. Since this leaves her as the rightful and legal owner, Sam sells her stepfamily’s possessions for college, and Fiona, who signed the will as a witness but claims to have never seen it before, is arrested by the LAPD and the County district attorney for financial fraud, swindling Sam out of her inheritance and violating child labor laws by having Sam work long hours despite being a minor.

Sam’s stepsisters retrieve her real acceptance letter to Princeton from a dumpster, where Fiona “filed” it. Soon, Fiona and her daughters are made to work at the diner to work off all the money they stole from Sam over the years as an alternate and well-deserved punishment over prison and juvenile hall by the D.A., and the diner is restored to its former glory before Hal’s death by its new owners, Sam and Rhonda. Andy comes to accept his son’s desire to attend Princeton and creates a promotion for Princeton alumni at his car wash. Carter soon films a commercial for new acne medication, causing him to become popular and Shelby to fall in love with him, but having witnessed her cruelty towards Sam at the pep rally, Carter rejects her for Astrid, the high school’s goth DJ and announcer. Austin and Sam begin a relationship, after Austin gives Sam back her cell phone, and they both end up driving off to Princeton together.

A Cinderella Story Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A cute film that is often now played on T.V again. It didn’t do well in theaters so the sequels went straight to video. It was a spin-off Cinderella with Hilary Duff, Regina King, Chad Michael Murray, and Jennifer Coolidge. Great for preteen family movie night. There is nothing inappropriate for younger kids.

Let us know if you remember this film.

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