Julia Roberts must really need money. Why else would an Academy Award-winning actress agree to appear in such an embarrassingly bad film as “Mirror Mirror”? And why in the hell do we need still another rendition of “Snow White” when Walt Disney’s 1937 classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to this day remains the fairest of them all?
Since the very first Snow White film was released in 1902, there have been a veritable plethora of adaptations and spinoffs on the silver screen and on television, but, as far as I am concerned, the Disney version will always be the big-screen classic of the tale. And “Mirror Mirror” is an insult to the story.
I knew I was in trouble when the film began with a voiceover from the wicked Queen (Roberts), and here is part of what she said.
“Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away, a baby girl was born. Her skin was pure as snow, her hair, as dark as night. They called her Snow White, probably that was the most pretentious name they could come up with. As fate would have it, Snow White’s mother died in childbirth. Left on his own, her father spoiled the young girl. He could afford to of course. He was the king.”
And it goes downhill from there. Notice the feeble attempts at humor with the editorial comments about Snow White’s name and how her father could afford to spoil her. Aren’t they hilarious?
As the voiceover continues, we learn that Snow White’s father realizes she needs a mother and sets out and finds a new Queen, who, of course, can’t stand her stunningly beautiful stepdaughter (Lily Collins). When the king rides off into the dark forest and is never heard of again (Who knows why.), the Queen amuses herself by having her servants assume the parts of the pieces in a live chess game.
Now the Queen isn’t a very good money manager, and so when her kingdom is about to go bankrupt, she decides to raise taxes again and again. In the meantime, Snow White pisses her off because she is so nice, and the Queen exiles her to the forest, where it just so happens that Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) is roaming around after having been accosted by some strange bandits.
The prince ultimately finds his way to the Queen’s castle, and when she realizes that he is wealthy, she wants to marry him so that her financial problems will be solved. But the prince has had a glimpse of Snow White and has eyes only for her.
While the soap opera is playing out at the castle, Snow White met the seven little bandits who gave the prince trouble, and they take her in. But when Snow White realizes that her new friends are thieves, she makes them promise to steal only from the Queen and give the money back to the people who have been unjustly taxed.
I don’t know about you, but I am really bored by all of this, and we all know how the damn thing ends anyway. Let’s move on.
Now I might have been able to tolerate Roberts’ obnoxious overacting, in this film. And I probably could have overlooked how embarrassingly unfunny Nathan Lane was as the Queen’s right-hand man. But what I absolutely could not accept was watching the seven dwarf bandits bouncing around in what appeared to be rubber stilts that made them all more than seven feet tall.
Oh and by the way, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the names of our four vertically challenged heroes. Here they are in no particular order: Napoleon (Jordan Prentice), Half Pint (Mark Povinelli), Grub (Joe Gnoffo), Grimm (Danny Woodburn), Wolf (Sebastian Saraceno), Butcher (Martin Klebba), Chuckles (Ronald Lee Clark). Can you name all seven of the original ones? Give it a shot, and I’ll refresh your memory in a minute.
I suppose that this film may appeal to children from the ages of about 4 to 7, and maybe that is for whom it is intended. However, if the filmmakers hoped to attract an adult audience, they really missed the mark badly.
Now in all fairness, the costumes are exquisitely colorful and beautiful, but they certainly aren’t enough to warrant sitting through the entire film. But the costumes are one of the two reasons that the movie didn’t get a fat zero. The other is the breathtaking beauty of Collins as Snow White. In the film’s production notes, Roberts paid tribute to the 23-year-old stunner originally from Surrey, England.
“The Queen is just the conflict. Lily Collins is impressive as Snow White. She looks exactly like you want Snow White to look. I was completely enchanted by her, because she’s a very young girl and already a pro. She was such a good sport because my character was so awful and vicious to her and she was always very sweet to me.”
As we gaze into the film-rating mirror, we see that “Mirror Mirror” gets one for the costumes and nine for Collins’ looks. Add them together and divide by two, and you get the final rating of five. Now have you managed to remember the names of the original dwarfs? If not, here is your refresher.
As I watched the new human version of Snow White, I kept hoping there was a Doc in the audience in case I fainted from boredom, and I definitely was not Happy with this debacle. In fact as time passed, I found myself becoming both Grumpy and Sleepy, and the only thing that kept me awake was the salt on the popcorn that made me very Sneezy. And I’m not at all Bashful about saying I found this entire film pretty Dopey.