It’s the year of Snow White! Dwarf and Shakespearean actors rejoice because there will be lots of screen time for you in some production of Snow White on television or in movies. Mirror Mirror is the first movie this year to hit and casts a fresh light on the familiar tale of Snow White.
Snow is a beautiful Princess who is kept inside the castle by the Evil Queen. The kingdom has fallen into a dark spell, taxes are high and the people are not happy. Meanwhile the Prince is passing through the area where he meets the 7 dwarves, who subsequently rob him.
The Prince meets the Princess, the Princess disappears, everybody thinks she dead, (except the Evil Queen) and the Evil Queen plots to marry the Prince. I may have glossed over aspects of the plot, but if you’re over 10, you know how the story plays out within the first 10 minutes.
Mirror Mirror is squarely aimed at the family audience. Unfortunately, the movie hits the female audience 8 and under. If you’re a guy Mirror Mirror will be far from the fairest of them all, rather it will be a slow, boring mess of a Grimm fairytale. If you’re a boy being dragged there with your sister then you might find parts of the movie entertaining, but you’ll be wishing that you could sneak out.
At times Mirror Mirror makes a play for being contemporary and modern, but then immediately retreats back to fairly tale land. It’s frustrating because it give you just enough of The Princess Bride or Enchanted to remind you of just how good, and rare, an entertaining PG rated movie is.
Julia Roberts’ accent alternates between British and American. What’s more, she sucks the life out of every scene she’s in. I like Roberts, she’s a good actress, but here she’s totally unbelievable and appears to be phoning it in like she’s in a hammy Hallmark version of Snow White.
I did have two earnest laughs and they were both at Nathan Lane, who plays Brighton the Evil Queen’s assistant. Lane’s time is too short on screen and this man needs more quality parts in movies. He’s funny, but too often saddled in supporting roles that aren’t interesting or worse, boring.
The special effects are OK, but any creative uses that they would bring are weighed down by the slowness of the movie. Towards the very end of Mirror Mirror Sean Bean makes an appearance as the King. His presence perks the movie up because you realize how good he is, which makes you wish that the rest of the movie had been as entertaining.
Mirror Mirror is entertaining for young girls, but otherwise it isn’t worth your time, unless you’re monitoring the working dwarves or Shakespearean actors of Hollywood. If you need to get a PG Snow White fix start watching Once Upon a Time on Sunday nights.