A Cinderella Story (2004)

A Cinderella Story
Director: Mark Rosman
Writer: Leigh Dunlap
Cast: Hilary Duff, Jennifer Coolidge, Chad Michael Murray, Dan Byrd, Regina King, Julie Gonzalo, Lin Shaye, Madeline Zima, Andrea Avery Ray, Mary Pat Gleason, Paul Rodriguez
Seen on: 4.1.2020

Plot:
Sam (Hilary Duff) divides her time between school and the diner that her stepmother (Jennifer Coolidge) inherited from her father. Her stepmother is rarely there herself, which is just as well, as all she sees in Sam is cheap labor. Fortunately, there’s Sam’s best friend Carter (Dan Byrd) and Nomad, a guy she met online and with whom she has kept up a regular correspondence. He goes to her school as well – and he really wants to meet her. So she suggests that they meet at the school’s Halloween dance. There she learns that Nomad is Austin (Chad Michael Murray), the school’s most popular guy. He, on the other hand, doesn’t learn who Sam is – but she loses her phone and he finds it and tries to find her through it.

Look, a fairy tale retold as a teenage RomCom will very rarely win points for originality, and if a plot that surprises you is what you’re looking for, you should skip this A Cinderella Story widely. But I thought it was a pretty sweet take on a familiar story with some nice touches in the way it modernized the story.

The film poster showing Sam (Hilary Duff) riding piggyback on Austin (Chad Michael Murray).
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Gentlemen Broncos (2009)

Gentlemen Broncos is a film by Jared Hess, written by himself and Jerusha Hess and starring Michael Angarano, Héctor Jiménez, Halley Feiffer, Jennifer Coolidge, Jemaine Clement and Sam Rockwell.

Plot:
Benjamin (Michael Angarano) is a huge SciFi fan. He especially admires the writings of Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement). When he gets a chance to submit one of his own stories for Chevalier to judge – a story about Bronco (Sam Rockwell), a kind of space cowboy – the last thing he expects is that Chevalier steals the story. At the same time his story about Bronco gets adapted by local prolific but amateur filmmaker Lonnie (Héctor Jiménez) who takes some liberties with the story.

Gentlemen Broncos doesn’t work half as well as it should be. Even Sam Rockwell falls flat (!!!!). Jemaine Clement was wonderful, but most of the time the film just misses its notes for me. It’s humor is just a tad too immature and the good ideas are stretched a bit too far.

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