Mirror Mirror comes packed with all the traditional ingredients of a beloved fairy tale, but it’s more than just a simple re-telling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The core of the story is the same, but comedy is an integral part of this updated tale. In this incarnation, The Queen (Julia Roberts) is a frivolous, superficial and narcissistic jerk. She is bleeding the townspeople dry so she can throw lavish parties, preserve her good looks and maintain the exclusivity of the palace itself. She married the King long ago and after his death, locked his daughter, Snow White (Lilly Collins), away deep in the palace so that she could focus on the only important thing in her world, herself.
On Snow White’s 18th birthday, she does the unthinkable and sneaks out. Snow makes her way into town and is horrified when she sees what has become of the happy land her father once ruled. The townspeople are starving, dirty and grey and Snow knows instantly that something must be done. While Snow White knows that the town cannot go on this way, she doesn’t believe she has the power to change anything. Depressed and demoralized she returns to the palace, all the while, trying to convince herself to take on the Queen to make things right.
Mirror Mirror presents a mixture of Snow White herself, that is equal parts pseudo-folk hero and dreamy, storybook princess. She even goes so far as to save the handsome Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) from various awkwardly dangerous situations. Additionally, the seven dudes that accompany Snow on her journey to liberated- womanhood-for-the-good-of-all-mankind are great.
The story line is good; it’s engaging and feels pretty relevant. Julia Robert’s performance is good as the sassy, devious and overbearing Queen. Her portrayal is malicious yet funny and somewhat relatable. The Queen and her servant sidekick, Brighton (Nathan Lane) serve up some good old fashioned physical comedy and it works nicely in this film.
While I found Collins’ portrayal of Snow White to be, at times, gratingly tongue-in-cheek, overall she was nice in the lead role. Armie Hammer is fun to watch and Nathan Lane always pulls the laughs out when on screen. Overall this was a delightful couple of hours. Give this one a go. If you have children, everyone will have a good time with this. I think moms and dads especially will appreciate the effort that was put into updating the story while attempting to keep the fairytale in tact. Mirror Mirror is a good effort at updating a classic. The comedy works on both levels and the laughs seem sincere. The action is absorbing and it all ties in neatly with some happy surprises sprinkled throughout. Get out there and reminisce about when you first heard this story, you’ll be glad you took the time.
Mirror Mirror (2012) – C+
C+ = This is a good time and you should give it a whirl. You never know, you might enjoy it more than you think going in. It has its pitfalls, but overall worth your time.