EDITORS Mirror Mirror was screened too late for inclusion in yesterdays Family Filmgoer column. Please add this review to the column you received yesterday.
A DROLL BUT AWKWARDLY CONCEIVED UPDATE OF THE OLD FAIRY TALE:
MIRROR MIRROR PG -- Julia Roberts has fun playing an evil queen in this often humorous, yet rather misshapen re-imagining of the classic Brothers Grimm tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The laughs come†pretty†far apart, yet kids 8 and older will probably like the films tongue-in-cheek approach and appreciate the more active role this Snow White (Lily Collins) takes in her own fate. It is the nasty queen herself who narrates the tale, complete with sarcastic asides, and who communes through her mirror with a magic alter ego. Realizing how beautiful her 18-year-old stepdaughter is, the queen orders Snow White never to leave her room. But the girl sneaks out and sees how the queen has impoverished the people. She also encounters a handsome fellow (Armie Hammer) and his squire (Robert Emms) in the woods, where theyve been strung upside down by robbers. The robbers are a band of dwarfs who wear accordion-like stilts to overpower their victims. Snow White cuts the handsome fellow and his servant free, learning later at a palace ball that the handsome fellow is Prince Alcott. The queen wants to marry him, and when she realizes he loves Snow White, she orders her servant (Nathan Lane, in a witty turn) to take Snow White into the woods and kill her. He cant bring himself to do it, and tells the queen shes dead. The little robbers befriend Snow White and give her shelter. The queen learns Snow White is alive and leading the little men in rebellion. The dialogue is a jarring mix of modern�slang�and fairy-tale speak, and the narrative makes little sense, with whole, illogical scenes that seem dropped in by helicopter. Also, the costumes (by the late Eiko Ishioka) are fabulous, while the overall film looks a little cheesy. Yet somehow it still manages to be a bit of a lark. During the end credits theyve added�a�fun, Bollywood-style musical number.�
THE BOTTOM LINE:�The violence features sword and dagger fights, fisticuffs and other mayhem, but is PG-bloodless and involves more property damage than anything. Some under-8s may be scared when the queens magical alter ego unleashes giant marionettes to destroy the little mens forest hide-out. The dragon-like beast that lurks in the woods proves to be mostly bluster, but may frighten under-8s when it appears near the end. The queens beauty ritual includes a facial with bird poop, and use of bees, leeches and other yucky stuff. The film features lots of mild sexual innuendo, such as references to the princes shirtless physique. One of the little men wants to get to know Snow White better, and says it with a bit of a leer. Much of this could go over kids heads.(c) 2012, Washington Post Writers Group.