A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that After the Ball is an uninspired romcom modeled after the Cinderella fairy tale. It features a young designer who goes undercover to save her father's fashion empire from her wicked stepmother and stepsisters. The stepsisters and stepmother scheme and manipulate throughout the film, while Kate and company also deceive to save the day. There is some profanity: "damn," "asses," "sugar t-ts," "hell." It's entertaining for its low-key predictability, but there are better movies that impart more interesting, truer messages about the fashion industry and true love.
What's the story?
Kate (Portia Doubleday) wants to work in the fashion industry, but her father's (Chris Noth) fashion empire -- and its reputation for stealing designs -- means she'll never work in this town. Instead she dutifully joins the family business, but after her mean stepmother (Lauren Holly) and stepsisters get her fired, she goes undercover to prove her talents and expose their corruption. Luckily, there's a prince of a guy in the shoe department who seems eager to help Kate reach her goals.
Is it any good?
AFTER THE BALL isn't the worst idea for a Cinderella-inspired romcom. Kate is more than a princess; she's also a designer. The prince has a paying job and creative talents and believes in Kate. A design setting is a fun backdrop for a fairy tale come to life with the glitz and glamour of the fashion industry. But here the characters are not particularly compelling, the design world it recreates looks built on a budget, and the plot moves slowly but obviously through the paces. The result is an uninspired message about following your dreams and a clichéd recreation of characters who could've used a bit more spark.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Cinderella offshoots are so popular. What is the appeal?
Is it OK for Kate to go undercover if she saves the day? Can we sometimes do a little wrong to do a little right?
Does this movie seem to accurately portray what it takes to be a fashion designer? Why, or why not?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.