Behold the Evil Stepmother. From fairy tale to fairy tale, sometimes she’s a Mom (Cinderella), and sometimes Not (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). Whenever possible, we can turn the stereotype upside down (a helpful blog for stepfamilies is called The Evil Stepmother Speaks, for example).
The evil NotMom stepmother in Disney’s version of Snow White ranks #10 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 50 Best Movie Villians of All Time. (#1? Hannibal Lecter.) Charlize Theron brought NotMom step-evil to life one more time in this year’s Snow White and the Huntsman, and she does a darned good job.
Interesting to note that in the first presentation of the Snow White tale by the Brothers Grimm, all the evil was embodied in Snow’s birth mother, no step-. That sure changes things. Regardless, don’t let negative NotMom-ness keep you from the movies this holiday. Mirror Mirror will give a weekend afternoon a good giggle, and it was just released on DVD, BluRay and digital. This time it’s Julia Roberts’ turn to deliciously deliver a heap of NotMom evil. She is glorious in the role. Without a kid in sight, I REALLY liked this movie. The best children’s movies have dialogue and punchlines way over a little kid’s head, and this does all of
Take the dwarfs, for example. Mirror believably recasts them as outcast bandits: romantic Napoleon, Chuckles, who can’t stop laughing, and “wild man” Butcher. Viewers get hints at how the other names came to be, while learning the “real story.”
As for Snow, before this, the best known role held by actress Lily Collins was in The Blind Side as a daughter of the adoptive family. She does well enough here; she’s certainly beautiful. For me, the real attractions (besides the dwarfs) are Roberts, power comedy from Nathan Lane, and a Prince who’s easy on the eyes (Armie Hammer, AKA the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network).
I missed this one at the theaters but it may work even better at home. For NotMoms, that is.
**This is not a Paid Post, however a DVD was accepted at no charge for preview purposes. Image Credits: Disney/Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment