Posted: 09/03/2011


A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song

by Del Harvey

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A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song is the third installment in the Cinderella saga by Warner Bros./Premiere in association with ABC Family. Starring actor/singer Lucy Hale, this title is making its DVD debut before airing on cable television.

To the fans of this series, you will be most happy to know that the third film in the series follows pretty much the same storyline as the two previous titles. The very talented Lucy Hale portrays our Cinderella this time around. In the first film, Hilary Duff got the attic of a suburban L.A home. In the second film, Selena Gomez got the guesthouse of a Beverly Hills mansion. And now, Lucy gets the shed way on the outer edges of a rural mansion.

We jump into Katie’s (Hale) story quickly, and later on find out that her father married a gold-digger and then somehow died, leaving the wicked stepmother in charge. The previous films featured two evil stepsisters, but this time around we are offered an evil stepsister who is more dizzy than anything, paired with your typical pain-in-the-butt stepbrother. In a very nice turn, the entire film is inspired by a Bollywood theme, culminating in a homecoming, masquerade, Bollywood school dance.

Katie’s stepmother (Missi Pyle) is the head of a private performing school, which both Katie and her stepsister Bev (Megan Park) attend. Guy Morgan brings his son to the school to produce the school’s showcase, although we are never really told if he is actually attending the school as a student.

And although Guy’s son, Luke (Freddie Stroma) has brief, clandestine meetings with Katie, he somehow manages to find something irresistible about Bev’s ditzy behavior. Meanwhile, Katie applies a passive-aggressive love technique which fails miserably. Luke’s personal struggle is that he doesn’t want to be in music business like his father. Instead he wants to be a producer involved on the creative side of the music biz.

Like the previous films, the story wraps up fairly quickly, but never lets the fans down.

The big star in this film is its talented headliner, Lucy Hale. This young actress manages to come across as real and genuine, and not simply a Hollywood actress. Lucy has a screen presence that makes you believe that these things are actually happening.

A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song, stars Lucy Hale (TV’s “Pretty Little Liars”) and Freddie Stroma (the Harry Potter franchise). The film is available on DVD and for download beginning Tuesday, September 6, 2011 from Warner Home Entertainment Group.

To see a clip from the film, click here.

To see an interview with Lucy Hale, click here.

A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song contains the following special features:
- Spotlighting Lucy Hale: Our New Cinderella: From Pretty Little Liars to vocal princess, Lucy Hale lights up the stage as the new singing Cinderella! Get an inside look at Lucy Hale’s talents that lead to casting her for the lead role, along with spotlighting her signing – from rehearsals and practices as she trains, learns her vocals, and performs.

- So You Wanna Be a Dancer? From hip-hop to Bollywood, learn new cool steps from Cinderella and her BFF, Angela and be the belle of your next school ball! Follow the actresses as they learn the choreography and endure hours of training and rehearsals as they swing their hips into hip-hop and master the moves for their big scenes.

- Meet Prince Charming: School heartthrob Luke Morgan makes fans scream as the charming prince! The newest Cinderella, Lucy Hale interviews Freddie Stroma, as he gives her the “inside scoop” on taking on this new character.

- Flip Cam Diaries: Armed with a Flip our cast takes us behind the production to show never before seen footage.

- “Bless Myself” Official Music Video

- Gag reel

- Deleted Scenes

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.

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