A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits Movie Poster Image
Kids will enjoy this playful, modern-day fairy tale musical.
  • PG
  • 2016
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Promotes having the courage to follow one's dreams. Dreams can come true. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroine is smart, funny, resourceful, and helpful and learns to have faith in herself as well as the courage to follow her dreams. Hero is "princely": straightforward, gentle, and honest and follows his heart. Evil stepmother is outrageously mean-spirited and conniving. An ethnically diverse cast. A stereotypical gay couple appears briefly.

Violence & Scariness

A few comic pratfalls: Stepsisters scuffle; a man's shoe catches fire; one character tackles another.

Sexy Stuff

Mild flirting. Gentle kisses.


"Holy crapola," "hell." A fart is heard. A bird poops on a girl's face. 


Featured fictional resort shares a name with a Middle Eastern resort group.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits is the fourth entry in Warner Bros.' Cinderella Story franchise. Building upon the success of the other films, this movie engages the target audience by creating a likable, talented young princess-in-waiting, giving her the always-formidable evil stepmother/sisters and then spinning a musical romance in which she steals the heart of a very noble Prince Charming. Music and dance take center stage in this fairy tale, but it isn't the classical music one might expect at royal balls and palace soirees. It's contemporary, upbeat, and energetic. In this story, the Cinderella is the modern-day "Tessa," who loves being a mechanic and who falls for a princely pop-rock star. It's a farcical tale as well. The stepmother, the stepsisters, and much of the plot are outrageously nonsensical, but it all works. A few comic pratfalls (a tussle, a mini-fire, the heroine held captive) and a bit of comic suspense move the story along. A fart joke, bird poop, and one "hell" earned this movie its PG rating.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydvdgirl January 8, 2019


It’s cute.
Adult Written byHappyMomof6 March 9, 2018

Embarrassingly Awkward

This is Cinderella + Grease + Hannah Montana + a burlesque show
We love Cinderella re-makes. My 3 daughter’s and I watched this for a girls night. (Ages 17, 13,... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byItalyJapan9 April 29, 2017


Probably better for older kids but, enjoyable. It has great music.
Teen, 13 years old Written byLOL225 December 25, 2018

Where to start...

This movie was so cringe. The terrible and over the top acting just ruined it. This could’ve been a good movie with the story line but the character personas ju... Continue reading

What's the story?

Tessa (Sofia Carson) is a true Cinderella, living in the 21st century in A CINDERELLA STORY: IF THE SHOE FITS. Plagued by her atrociously mean-spirited, social-climbing stepmother, Divine (Jennifer Tilly in all-out deranged comic villain form), and two helplessly inept stepsisters, Tessa finds small comfort in working with cars, a skill she learned from her beloved deceased dad, a race car driver. Forced to go along to "assist" her family when they vacation at a special VIP week at a famous resort, Tessa soon becomes intrigued by the planned events. Auditions will be held for an end-of-the-week stage performance of Cinderella, starring current pop sensation Reed West (Thomas Law). Tessa sings, and Tessa dances, but only in private, definitely not for an audition and definitely not in view of Divine and company. If only, Tess thinks. Magic arrives in the form of one of the most engaging fairy godmothers of all time, a sweet, encouraging makeup artist named Georgie. From then on, the young princess-in-waiting's fate is sealed. It's a comedy of disguises, quick changes, and love-at-almost-first-sight. And, in true fairy tale style, it's only a matter of time before the glass slipper finds its home.

Is it any good?

Broad comedy, a sparkling heroine, and a smitten young prince team up with contemporary singing and dancing to make this an appealing, solidly produced modern-day fairy tale. The talented Sofia Carson as Tessa/"Bella Snow" deftly handles the comedy and the mild pathos and sells the pop-star musical numbers as well. Her costar is Thomas Law, a charming young Englishman. Jennifer Tilly's take on the evil stepmother may be a stretch for some, but one has to admire the lack of vanity and pure enjoyment with which she tackles a familiar role and makes it her own. A special shout-out to young Nicole Fortuin as Georgie, who does a splendid version of "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" without the magic wand. Despite the outlandishness of the situations, the filmmakers play it straight, and A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits should make its target audience very happy. There's nothing to offend and much to enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss how series of movies such as the Cinderella Story franchise provide a built-in audience for each successive entry. Have you seen any of the others in the series? What qualities or concepts do these movies share? Does enjoying A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits motivate you to see the others?

  • Find out what "slapstick humor" means. Which scenes in this movie fit the definition? How does Jennifer Tilly's performance as Divine fit the definition?

  • Georgie was not the traditional fairy godmother to Tessa; she didn't bring any magic with her. In what ways did she serve as the fairy godmother character? When and how did you realize that Georgie was playing that role?

Movie details

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