For a something that has inspired countless classics, the teen movie genre has also produced a lot of duds. Granted, one does not exclude the other, and given 20 odd years, a dud often becomes a cult classic. Some, however, never get off the dud list, and one such film is Another Cinderella Story, quite possibly the most forgettable teen movie of all time. For those of you who don't know, Another Cinderella Story was the pseudo sequel to A Cinderella Story, the 2004 classic starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. Instead of Duff and Murray, the movie starred then-Disney darling Selena Gomez as the titular "Cinderella" character, and Drew Seeley (aka the guy who dubbed Zac Efron's voice in the first High School Musical) as the prince.
Another Cinderella Story wasn't released in theaters, which probably contributed to its status as a hugely forgettable teen movie, but keep in mind that, when the movie was released in 2008, Gomez was at the height of her TV popularity. Another Cinderella Story should have had an army of fans ready to make it a hit, and yet, it failed. But, lack of popularity isn't the only reason Another Cinderella Story isn't very memorable. It's also forgettable because it's just really not very good.
In classic Cinderella story fashion, Another Cinderella Story starts with Mary (Gomez), a teenage girl forced to live with her evil stepmother (Jane Lynch — yes, you read that right) and two stepsisters and essentially work as their maid. Meanwhile, she's longing for a life outside her home, and dreams of making it big. Sounds pretty innocent, but here's what makes it utterly forgettable.
She's cute, but she's not too girly; she skateboards and has a super quirky BFF, so you know she's not like other girls. She looks like a pop star, but for some reason is an outcast at school. And Joey, the love interest/pop star/wannabe young Justin Timberlake, is equally as stereotypical. Yawn.
Mary is a dancer. At least, she wants to be. She sneaks into the local dance studio to take classes, but she can't officially sign up for some reason, so instead she takes advantage of a conveniently placed two-way mirror to take classes with Joey. The two meet at a masked ball (obviously), where they dance together. He falls in love, she leaves before midnight — you know the drill — and all that he's left with to find her is her Zune. Guys, remember Zunes?! The device was basically Microsoft's version of the iPod. #TBT
So, just to recap: so far Another Cinderella Story has a tired trope of a heroine and features technology that was outdated by the time the movie was released.
The dancing in Another Cinderella Story is about as memorable as anything in High School Musical, which is to say it's not much. The movie culminates in what might be the least interesting dance battle ever put to film. It's not that Gomez and Seely are bad dancers, but the scene leaves a lot to be desired, to say the least.
Most teen movies are probably guilty of casual racism, but there's a particularly racist scene in Another Cinderella Story that really takes the cake. When Mary sneaks out to go to the ball, she hires an Asian cleaning crew to clean the house before midnight, as she was ordered to do. And, boy, the filmmakers didn't even try not to make the cleaning crew offensive. The Asian men, only one of whom has lines (and speaks with a heavy accent), are made up to look like something out of a racist cartoon from the early 19th century. It's frankly pretty horrific, and I'm sure it's something all involved hope audiences would forget about. (You can watch parts of this scene at the 2:33 mark here.)
Gomez's first major single, "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" was actually released as a soundtrack for Another Cinderella Story (she sings it briefly in the film). Some of you might remember the track, but do you remember the movie it debuted in?
Bonus: whatever this is.
Oh man, you guys. This was rough.
So, yeah, there are many reasons why Another Cinderella Story is the most forgettable teen movie of all time. And, honestly, it should probably stay that way.