A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that DJ Cinderella (aka Cinderela Pop) is a Brazilian romcom that can be viewed either with English subtitles (translated from Portuguese) or dubbed English voices. Based on a book by popular Brazilian author Paula Pimenta and set in present day, it's yet another version of the classic fairy tale with a twist. This time around, the main character (Maisa Silva) -- who has the familiar wicked stepmother, two mean stepsisters, and a "prince" to fall in love with -- passionately wants to be a disc jockey, so contemporary music is an integral part of the story. DJ Cinderella is family-friendly overall, with one short slapstick action sequence (a woman pretends to attack herself) and one use of "ass," along with a few insults (e.g., "moron"). There are also a number of romantic kisses. Despite the fact that it's predictable, young fairy tale fans may find it appealing.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Brazilian teen Cintia Dorella (Maisa Silva) is heartbroken when her beloved dad's affair is inelegantly revealed at her parents' anniversary party in DJ CINDERELLA. Eighteen months later, Cintia is living with her aunt; her mom is working abroad; and her dad is now married to Patricia (Fernanda Paes Leme), his paramour, with her twin teen daughters at home. Disillusioned about love, Cintia's great passion is to become a disc jockey adding her own "spin" to tunes in the modern way. Unfortunately, Cintia's very rich and aristocratic father would never approve of her goal. Disguising herself, Cintia DJs a party, meets Freddy Prince (Filipe Braganca), a romantic, famous young singer-heartthrob, and suddenly is faced with revisiting her disenchantment with love. Freddy is smitten, too. The only things standing in the couple's way are a disapproving father; Patricia, Cintia's manipulative and evil stepmother; her two haughty stepsisters; and the fact that Freddy doesn't know who Cintia really is. Maybe it's not a glass slipper, but can a very distinctive sneaker reunite the star-crossed young lovers?
Is it any good?
A number of exaggerated performances bordering on ridiculous, far-fetched coincidences, and what to many may be gratingly awful music diminish any charm this well-intended film had in mind. DJ Cinderella is colorful and lively and has a very sympathetic character in the leading role, but that's simply not enough to captivate audiences of any discernment. Still, it's harmless, and kids who like simple and predictable or who relish seeing mustache-twirling villains get the comeuppance they deserve may enjoy it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of remaking or updating classic stories and movies like DJ Cinderella. How does audience familiarity with a story provide a natural boost for marketing? Why is it harder to sell an original concept to a wide audience? What are some of your favorite re-imaginings of well-known tales?
Movies set in other countries can be an enriching experience, especially for young people. What did the Brazilian teens in this movie have in common with teens in your country and/or community? In what ways were they different? How were the family relationships alike or unalike?
What is a "one-dimensional" character? How do Patricia, Graciele, and Gisele fit that description? Do you think a movie is better if the characters are more complex and/or more real? Why or why not? Pick one of the three above, and think about how you might make that character more interesting.
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