The tale of Snow White (Lily Collins) and her evil stepmother is well known, with numerous versions of the good vs evil story throughout movie history. Mirror Mirror takes the viewpoint from the narcissistic Queen (Julia Roberts) who slips through the mirror to talk with an alter ego for reassurance she is still the most beautiful in the land.
This movie is one of those you walk out of the theater thinking, "It coulda, shoulda, woulda been so much better if..."
Not that it was bad, mind you, it just didn't quite reach its potential. Neither funny nor scary enough to make you think, "I have to see this again," or "OMG, I cannot believe how fabulously funny/scary it was." It is, as so many films do nowadays, trying to be all things in all categories and that method so rarely works it could be considered an urban legend.
Many ideas of how it could have been tweaked to bring it up that extra notch cannot help but flutter through your brain while discussing it afterward with fellow film friends. The utmost topic after Mirror Mirror for me was if Roberts was truly the best choice for the villainous Queen. What makes the Pretty Woman star so irresistible, and a fan favorite again and again, is actually what plays against her in this almost fabulous flick.
Her adorable factor.
Her twinkling eyes full of mirth and joy which cannot be restrained.
And that proves to be the core of what the movie lacks:
Pure, unadulterated, heinous, reprehensible, cold-hearted, contemptible evil in its purest form. Only one name (within the correct age range) could be conjured as pulling off this role with the necessary skill, the talent of one so evil they could kill a young virginal, naive, sweet innocent. Only one.
No one else could flick a wrist and create death, throw a glance to destroy an entire kingdom or sneer in such a way to create fear in all who come into contact with her, while simultaneously flirting with a prince, worrying about wrinkles and checking her beautiful costumes in the mirror.
The other roles were portrayed fine, but also restrained in their performance, with the exception of the seven dwarfs who were allowed to go all out.
Nathan Lane has so much comedic talent and, yet, it seemed as if he was instructed to not go over-the-top. A mistake as he could have brought the fun factor up several notches.
Bottom Line: Mirror Mirror is a lighthearted film suitable for families, girls night and kid-friendly evenings.
PG 13; 106 mins
Director: Tarsem Singh
Cast: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Nathan Lane, Armie Hammer, Lily Tomlin, Mare Winningham, Michael Lerner, Sean Bean
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook.
Gotta Go is published on www.BroadwayWorld.com and in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.