Mirror Mirror on the wa- OH, DANG GIRL I LOOK SO GOOD.
I know what you’re all thinking – I can hear you all rolling your eyes from here. Yes, the trailer for this film is terrible. Worse than terrible. The trailer is so bad it makes a film starring Kristen Stewart look appealing. But I’ll tell you this: Mirror Mirror is a movie made for children. Does it attempt to be anything more than a movie for children? No. Does that make it a bad film? No!
We all know the story – this has a few twists to it, but I’ll leave them out for the three of you that might want to see it. So there’s Snow White (Lily Collins), a Wicked Queen (Julia Roberts), Nathan Lane (a wicked Queen), and a super handsome prince (Armie Hammer). The Queen hates Snow White because Snow White isn’t a hot dude (understandable) she also wants to be the hottest ho in the land (understandable) so she decides to get rid of Snow White and be Super Hot Queen Of The Land (guuuuurl, understandable).
When Snow is sent into the woods to be fed to ‘the beast’ by Nathan Lane, Nathan Lane does a great Nathan Lane impression and then promptly leaves. Snow hits her head, wakes up and meets seven dwarfs. Unfortunately I do have to point out, the writers obviously decided to not pay Disney for the rights to the names we all know and love – and instead created seven new dwarfs: Shorty, Smally, Not-Biggy, Teeny, Tiny, Un-Tally and Wally. Okay that’s none of their names, but the point is they don’t fit into the same characters from your childhood. That being said, a few of them have ‘gimmicks’ that are kind of lame, but as a cohesive supporting cast, they work pretty well.
The script is average – if that – and there’s a lot of pretty terrible dialogue. But there are also some surprisingly and genuinely funny moments – both for children and fun-loving adults alike. The costuming is stunning – but that’s to be expected. If anything, I was somewhat disappointed that it seemed the director, Tarsem Singh, had really pared back his aesthetic style. One of his earlier films, The Fall, is one of my favorite movies for the aesthetics alone, and his more recent The Immortals had some incredible hats – so I was really expecting a lot more than a few fabulous dresses. Yes – there are the obvious Tarsem embellishments, but I really wish he had taken the opportunity create an incredible fairy-tale land. Too much fake-snow, not enough surreal visuals.
So it isn’t all buttercups and bluebirds. No, Mirror Mirror is nowhere near perfect. Not even close. A lot of the script is clunky and completely rubbish – and Julia Roberts is doing the perfect impression of that one person you know who can’t do convincing accents but always tries to trick you into believing the opposite:
“Allo gov’na – ow about a nice cuppa tea”
“Wow, Julia That was actually a pretty good British accent!”
Lily Collins starts off pretty rough, and you’ll never not obsess about the size of her eyebrows, but you warm to her as the film goes on. Apart from her accent, Roberts carries the film quite well. The seven dwarfs are cute and do a fine job of supporting the storyline, but this film belongs to a shirtless Armie Hammer. Have I mentioned him? Prince Charming? Prince Charming indeed.
And then there’s this. You’re sitting in the cinema, the film has ended and you actually enjoyed it. You saw Armie Hammer shirtless a few times, there were some cute dresses – you’re filled with this confused feeling of actually enjoying a film you really wanted to hate – and then, suddenly, they start singing. Now, I don’t feel bad telling you that the film ends on a song because this is an assault to all six senses. Honestly it’s like you’ve just had a meal – not the best meal, but a good meal. You enjoyed it, you might be just finishing the last mouthful and thinking to yourself “Hm, that was good! I enjoyed that!” SUDDENLY, the chef appears, he jumps over other diners like some kind of acrobatic Gordon Ramsey. The nimble Nigella flips over a buffet table, stands directly in front of you and urinates right in your eye. Is this really happening? He shakes off his spatula, flicking final drops of jus into your ocular cavity, ensuring your eye is completely sodden, and then- like some kind of postcoital Jamie Oliver, he high-fives you. Much like the unlucky peanut walking down the road, you were just assaulted.
So there it is. If you want a film that is purely fun, doesn’t take itself to seriously, and is a great family film: this succeeds. As long as you don’t go in with expectations of seeing a groundbreaking, flawless film, and as long as you do the following: as soon as “The End” flashes onto the screen, run. Run like your pants are on fire and all your friends are bees. Run, and don’t let what is an embarrassingly terrible song – and I mean Rebecca Black doing a cover of every Black Eyed Peas song bad – ruin an okay film.
Run, and thank me later.
Mirror, Mirror is in cinemas March 29, a fun re-imagining of the popular fairy tale. Not the best we could have hoped for, but not nearly as bad as we all expected!