Mirror Mirror Tries to Be Fresh, But Falls Flat
April 3, 2012
Mirror Mirror Tries to Be Fresh, But Falls Flat

Julie Samrick
Kid Focused

Mirror Mirror is told from the point of view of Snow White's evil stepmother, much like the wildly popular story Wicked centers on Dorothy Gale's nemesis, the wicked witch of the west.  Yet where the latter achieves fresh insight into a story we all thought we knew so well, Mirror Mirror is a threadbare attempt to do the same, and it fails.

In this cynical retelling of the classic fairytale, home cooked meals aren't enough to endear Snow White to the seven dwarves or garner a permanent seat at their table.  The little men with names like Chuck, Wolf and Grub tell her, "To live with us, you'll have to be a thief like us," setting up scenes that go on far too long.

Kids probably won't notice Julia Roberts as the Queen's faux British accent (which majorly got on my nerves - in one scene she had it, and in the next she did not), and her sarcasm will probably go over kids' heads too. 

Yet there is no escaping the flat, one-dimensional characters and even flatter one-liners that barely got a chuckle in the packed theatre I was in.  In fact, some scenes are plain awkward - not one person laughed when we were supposed to.

If anything, I like the visuals in Mirror Mirror - it's filled with beautiful costumes and scenery.  It's too bad as much thought didn't go into the storyline, dialogue and characters. 

Even at the end, the Queen says, "It really wasn't my story after all," and she's right.  What could have been a clever twist on a classic was forced and not thought through.

Yes, the movie is mostly silly, but there are plenty of frightening scenes that could haunt kids under 10 (my 8-year-old, who went with me, helped me come up with this age).   For example: there is a beast in the forest that's quick, serpent-like and is always accompanied with dark skies and foreboding music.

The film earns its PG rating due to fight scenes, weapons, strong language and sexual innuendo.  The seven dwarves remind me more of "The Three Stooges," with all of the punching, prodding and physical tricks they play too.

Teenagers might enjoy the movie and to compare its plotline to the original. Otherwise, I say skip it for everyone.

Julie Samrick is a stay-at-home mom of 4 young kids and the founder of Kid Focused, a site devoted to children and family issues.  Subscribe to the free Kid Focused newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox and connect with us on Facebook too.  Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com 

Posted by Staff at 7:46 AM