Happily Never After 

Your Kids Aren't Dumb Enough to Like Mirror Mirror, But You Might Be

MIRROR MIRROR Above: AN ACTUAL PUBLICITY STILL FROM MIRROR MIRROR.

MIRROR MIRROR Above: AN ACTUAL PUBLICITY STILL FROM MIRROR MIRROR.

JULIA ROBERTS is the aging queen of a corrupt empire, clinging by manicured fingernails to her fading looks in a world that values youth and beauty above all.

She also stars in the new Snow White movie Mirror Mirror! SNAP!

In a snarky voiceover designed to baffle the shit out of any child familiar with the story of Snow White, Julia Roberts sets up Mirror Mirror: A baby is born, black of hair and white of skin, the sexiest baby in all the land. Her mother dies, and then her father; the sexiest baby is raised by her beautiful stepmother, Julia Roberts. Giving Julia Roberts the film's first word suggests we're in for a Wicked-style revisionist telling—but nope, this is Snow White's story after all.

Sexy Baby (Lily Collins) grows up into a beautiful princess, who's kept locked in a castle until her 18th birthday, when she flees for the city to see for herself how her vain stepmother has destroyed her town. The people are starving, the town drab and gray, and what's this? The queen wants to raise MORE TAXES, just so she can afford to throw a ball to woo a handsome young prince (Armie Hammer) who is somehow shirtless for most of this film and admittedly has a very nice chest? Fucking taxes.

Snow White's dwarves, in this telling, are tiny savages with names like Barry and Horseface and Lump. Clad in bearskin and rags, they strap on accordion-spring stilts to hop their way through the forest, menacing travelers and stealing their clothes. (Even though they are too small to fit in the clothes they steal! This part doesn't really make sense.) The dwarves befriend Snow White because she knows how to make stew and, in the Tiniest Training Montage™, they teach her how to fend for herself. Toward the end of the movie Sean Bean tumbles into a scene, looking just as befuddled as the audience as to why he's not in Westeros anymore. Also, a grasshopper rapes Nathan Lane.

Mirror Mirror is carefully scrubbed of most of the prince-rescues-princess stuff that modern parents fear (Snow White wears pants), yet it's hard to imagine any kid really appreciating this movie—it's heavy on winky jokes for the parents, and Julia Roberts smearing bird poop on her face (THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENS!) is no substitute for Snow White being dressed by bluebirds. As youth and beauty coolly triumphs over wrinkled, grasping old age, the boogeyman that emerges is less the evil queen than the inevitable ravages of time. Oh, and taxes. Fucking taxes.

Mirror Mirror
Rated PG · 106 min. · 2012
Official Site: www.mirrormirrorfilm.com
Director: Tarsem Singh
Writer: Melisa Wallack and Jason Keller
Producer: Ryan Kavanaugh, Bernie Goldmann and Brett Ratner
Cast: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Bean Reigns, Jordan Prentice, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Ronald Lee Clark and Martin Klebba

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