The cheesiest part of the film is its message, which consists of banalities like “believe in yourself” and “have faith in yourself” – all clichés without any real substance. Sam has to deal with emotional abuse from her stepmother, stepsisters, and the kids at school. How does she feel about this? What does she do with those feelings? And what about her father’s death? The film never goes beneath the surface. Worse, her father hands her a book of fairy tales and tells her, “Keep this. There are important things for you to learn there.” Although this book later reveals an important secret that changes Sam’s life, it’s clear that the only moral guidance Sam gets is from that book of fairy tales. How sad is that? No wonder her life – and the film – are vacuous.

Another negative message is that romance is the solution to all of our problems. This one has a twist of course – it’s not only romance, but education (i.e. getting into a good college) – which is good, but still highly unrealistic. 

All in all, “A Cinderella Story” is a big disappointment.

  • Drugs/Alcohol Content:   None, except stepmother may be sipping on an alcoholic drink as she sits beside the pool (not obvious).
  • Language/Profanity:   No obscenities but several characters take the Lord’s name in vain. Several “potty humor” jokes, including scene with someone passing gas under water.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity: Several scenes with kissing, sometimes passionate kissing (i.e. making out); one scene with implied (but now shown) nudity where the stepmother is in a tanning bed.
  • Violence:   Mostly slapstick violence, like the stepsisters fighting, kicking and hitting one another and getting battered in a carwash.