Mirror Mirror

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mirror mirror

The seven dwarfs were adorable.

Objects in the mirror appear smaller than they are. So, just grab a few bees to sting your lips and get them the size you want before heading down to the ball. That’s one of just a handful of really cute scenes that work wonderfully.

This movie is visual stunning, but India-born director Tarsem Singh has been known for that (The Cell, The Fall, Immortals). All those movies are a bit weak when it comes to dialogue. But how can you not leave the theatre with a smile on your face? Especially when he gives you a fun Bollywood sequence in the closing credits.

Now, that being said…it’s great that there’s actually a family film that everyone will enjoy. The kids more than the adults, but they certainly won’t be mad they saw it.

It’s the first of two big Snow White movies coming out this year, this one is a comedic retelling of the classic story by the Brothers Grimm. It’s a bit more Tim Burton than Walt Disney.

The evil Queen is played by Julia Roberts. Her accountant and right-hand man is played by Nathan Lane. It’s rare when I can watch a movie and these two don’t irritate me. Lane steals every scene he’s in.

Snow White is a prisoner in the castle, and the Kingdom keeps getting taxed. When Prince Alcott (an often shirtless Armie Hammer) shows up, the Queen taxes again. After all, she has to throw a lavish ball to impress the Prince.

White shows up dressed like Bjork at the Oscars, and an interesting dance sequence takes place.

The seven dwarfs all have different names, and instead of whistling when they go to work, it’s the sounds of accordions you hear as they stand on stilt like legs and rob anybody that crosses their path. I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the dwarfs was played by Ronald Lee Clark. He’s one of the minor characters on the reality show Pit Boss.

Most of the laughs are from slapstick, and the script is the weak spot. But when you have a flirty swordfight that melts your heart, and a Queen that uses real bugs and animals to prepare for a party – how can you not enjoy this?

Lily Collins played Snow White. Perhaps she wasn’t given as much to do as she would’ve liked, but hey…she was in small parts in Juno and Snow Angels. And I’m sure she got her foot in films by having Phil Collins as a dad. She’s not complaining.

I can think of a few scenes that didn’t work (the puppy love bit was clever, but poorly executed). I can also remember a few times the crowd didn’t laugh at jokes that I thought worked. When one dwarf says “Never trust anybody over four feet,” I was literally the only one laughing in the theatre. Does nobody get that joke?

There’s great chemistry among the cast, stunning costumes, visuals, and the whole thing is charming. Now, if somebody could explain to me what was happening when the Queen went into the mirror and ended up on a bizarre island. I don’t get it.

Any critic that pans this you can call Grumpy.

It gets 3 stars out of 5.