A Cinderella Story (2004) – Hillary Duff, Chad Michael Murray

“A Cinderella Story” (2004) is among my favorite movie and its original sound track is also amazing with many beautiful songs that touched the deepest inside your heart. I have no idea why many review websites could rate this movie at that low grade (5 or 6/10 –  I do not remember), however, I do feel that it is totally a worth-watching movie for teenagers for its romantic contents and kind of fairy tales that makes you feel comfortable after dealing with enough troubles in your real life. Many critics criticize the movie for its over-beautifying the harsh real life but I do think that we should take it easy for a while by enjoying fairy tales on screen.

About the story:

The story is just simple like its Cinderella counterpart. A little girl lived happily with her widowed father before his father decided to step further. Unfortunately, her father died and she had to live with her crude stepmother and two stepsisters, who always treat her like a slave. She attended a party, where she met her prince and left the party suddenly at 12 p.m. However, in modern version of Cinderella’s story, Cinderella has been friend with the prince before via Internet and they have talked with each other a lot about their dream, their own stories. However, as their relationship is bound by the Internet, it was not until the Halloween party that they know each other. To be more exact, just Cinderella or Sam knew that the prince is Austin Ames, a high-profile boy at her high school. Austin, however, had no idea of who Cinderella is as she wore a mask to hide her face. In stead of dropping a shoe, she dropped her mobile phone. The prince is also actively seeking for Cinderella, however, when he happened to know that Cinderella is Sam, a “diner girl”, he hesitated to protect her from all the sarcastic comments from other students at high school because he was afraid of admitting with his father that he wanted to be a writer, and become a student of Princeton, not following his father’s arrangement of becoming student of University of South California. About the end, I do not want to rewrite it there as it is just a happy ending like the original version of Cinderella’s story. The crude stepmother and stepsisters are punished and Cinderella and the prince are together.

Things I like about the movie:

1. Simple story

Yes, it is its simplicity that I like most in this movie. Although the movie is simple, the director did add many interesting details to make it fit with modern life such as chitchat via chatroom on the Internet, or text messaging on mobile phone. The characters possess with very simple and straight characteristics. There is no mingle between the leading character and the villains. It is just that simple and I love it.

2. Hillary Duff

This is the first movie of Hillary that I have ever seen. Many critics said that “Sam” of Hillary is just like Lizzie McGuire, however, I could hardly any similarity between these two movies. Things that I love about Sam is that she is a real Cinderella. She is not as slim as super model, her arms are a little bit big and she looks overall chubby. But it’s fine to me and I think it’s fine for every chubby girl in this world as we somehow do not have to be obsessed with losing weight in order to find a prince ::P. Hillary’s acting in this movie is also natural and excellent and I just feel she is starring herself on the screen, not Sam but Hillary.

3. Chad Murray

He is just a prince. Though his performance is somehow not as good as Hillary but he is at least a nice prince to love. After seeing this movie, I happened to know that Chad was also the leading actor in The Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan but I prefer his appearance in Cinderella to the Freaky Friday. I do love the way he invited Sam to have a dance with him at the garden. He looks a little bit funny when giving his hand towards Sam and his way of talking to Sam just makes all teenage girls’ heart melted.  :)

4. The script

I love the movie for its beautiful script, which touched my heart every time I see the movie.

For example:

(a) When Sam headed to the locker room to see Austin before the match kicked off.

Austin: Sam! Okay, I know you think that I’m just some…

Sam: Coward? Phony?

Austin: Okay, just listen.

Sam: No, you listen. You turned out to be exactly who I thought you were. I never pretended to be somebody else. It’s been me all along. And it was me who was hurt in front of everybody. Look, I didn’t come here to yell at you, okay? I came to tell you that I know what it feels like to be afraid to show who you are. I was, but I’m not anymore. And the thing is, I really don’t care what people think about me… because I believe in myself. And I know that things are gonna be okay. But even though I have no family, and no job, and no money for college… it’s you that I feel sorry for.

David: Heads up! Yo, five minutes.

Austin: I’m coming!

Sam: I know that guy that sent those emails is somewhere inside of you, but I can’t wait for him… because waiting for you is like waiting for rain in this drought. Useless and disappointing.

[walks away]

Austin: SAM!

[punches locker]

When she said “useless and disappointing”, I just feel “wow”, she did it, telling Austin everything stuck in her mind and came out the locker room just like a heroic. I just feel sorry for every hurt that she had suffered since she was humiliated by the cheering girls and her stepsisters.

(b) When Austin left the game, coming to Sam, who was about to leave the stadium

Sam: Austin? What are you doing?

Austin: Something I should have done a long time ago.

[he kisses her, it starts to rain, they both look up]

Austin: Sorry I waited for the rain.

Sam: It’s okay.

As I love the heavy rain and their kiss in the rain was just so awesome, I think that I am totally into this movie.

(c) Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game

5. Beautiful music

Here is the playlist of my favorite songs in this movie

OST is just beautiful when it goes well with the movie. I love the scene, in which Sam came down the stair with her beautiful white dress and everybody has to look at her. This scene is featured with the song ” The best day of my life” of Jesse McCartney; “Hear you me” comes with the final scene; or “To make you feel my love” really makes the movie sound more like a fairy tale.

Other song that I love in the movie is “One in this world” by Haylie Duff. The song is just so awesome from the music to the lyric. For single one, I do believe that you will love this song at first attempt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8WBQOCxf5U

I’ve been searching for
A heart that needs a heart like mine
I’ve been reaching for
A hand that understands
I’ve been waiting for
Someone that I can love
That loves me
Loves me for the one that I am

Someone to hold me when I’m lonely
Someone to keep the rain away
They say
They say

[Chorus]
There’s one in this world for everyone
One heart
One soul to walk beside you
One in this life to share your love
One touch
To touch the heart inside you
Wanna reach for each night
Wanna trust with your life
That’s what I believe
You’re the one
The one in this world for me

I’ve been praying that
Someone like you would rescue me
I’ve been hoping that
I’ll find my way to you
I’ve been dreaming that
Somehow I’ll finally find somebody
Somebody to make my dreams come true

Someone to hold me when I’m lonely
Someone to give my whole world to
They say
They say

[Chorus]

Somebody to hold me when I’m lonely
Someone to tell my secrets to
Someone who’s living for me only
Someone to give my whole world to
They say
They say
They say
They say

[Chorus]

You’re the one
You’re the one in this world for me
You’re the one

6. The end

I love to hear Sam say that: “We are happy ever ever after, at least now, … but wait… we are just freshmen.” Well everything is just the beginning and it would be better to pursue happiness in every moment of our life rather than chasing for a lifelong happiness and forget the presence. I just feel curious about their life in Princeton and hope that it will come well.

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