The Queen, desperate to replenish the kingdom’s coffers, decides that she must marry Prince Alcott. The Prince of course has fallen in love with Snow White. The Queen gets rid of Snow White. The Seven Dwarves take her in. Snow White decides to take back the kingdom from the wicked Queen and the dwarves offer to help.
You can see where this is going.
In a lot of ways, “Mirror Mirror” is Snow White reimagined as a romantic comedy. And it works. It’s a fun take on the classic story – different in some ways, but comfortably familiar. Maybe a little too comfortable, truthfully, but for the most part, it does work.
Roberts is typically Julia Roberts-y in this part. But as per usual, she’s chosen a role where her oddly limited range works. It’s actually a fair performance for her, not least because it is so clear to the audience that she’s actually kind of enjoying herself. It’s been awhile since she looked like she was having fun – it makes a big difference. Collins makes a sweetly simple Snow White; there’s not a lot of real challenge here. She makes the most of her moments, however, and she displays some nice comic timing. The supporting cast is excellent across the board, with a number of memorable characters – particularly the dwarves, who are uniformly fun to watch.
The best performance of the lot is Hammer. He attacks the archetypal role of the “handsome prince” with both complete commitment and complete self-awareness. The guy just looks like a fairy tale prince; add to that some real comic talent and physical acumen and you have the perfect guy for this part.
“Mirror Mirror” is actually pretty funny. That was unexpected. The script has some clever moments and clearly delights in having some fun with fairy tale convention. The take on the dwarves in particular brought some new and interesting directions. Of note is the fact that while “Mirror Mirror” is definitely a film for adults, fairly young children could watch and enjoy it as well. A true family film? Who knew?
“Mirror Mirror” is not a great movie. But it’s a good one. It’s got a love story. It’s got swordfights and magic. It’s got goofy bits and scary bits. And dwarves. Sure, it’s not the fairest one of all, but we can’t all be Snow White. Sometimes good is good enough.
4 out of 5