Once upon a time, set deep in the woods of … Greek Row … a lonely brunette sat crying on a curb. Sydney White is a new fairy tale rendition of the ever popular, Snow White, with its own displaced “princess”, evil witch, seven “dorks,” and even the poisoned apple. This light-hearted romantic comedy is sure to win over the heart of every tween princess.
Sydney White (Amanda Bynes) is a strong willed tomboy raised by her plumber dad (John Schneider) after the death of her mother. As she prepares for college, she dreams of pledging the same sorority her late mother belonged to, Kappa Phi Nu.
Upon arrival, Sydney obviously does not fit in with her brown hair and less than luxurious upbringing. As she continues through Rush she meets Tyler Prince (Matt Long) and quickly becomes hated by the evil Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton). She is soon “exiled” to the wet streets of Greek Row without a place to live, and befriends the seven “dorks” living in “The Vortex.”
Each dork represents one of the seven dwarfs, such as Sneezy aka Lenny (Jack Carpenter) or Grumpy aka Gurkin (Danny Strong), and so on.
Sydney and the seven dorks vow to take on the evil Witchburn by making a run for Student Council President, and endure the evil antics of her wrath. Witchurn becomes furious when she checks her “magic mirror” (her laptop) and learns that Sydney has just replaced her on the school’s Hot-or-Not list, making Sydney the “fairest in the land.”
A poison apple even comes into play as Sydney’s Mac is destroyed by a computer virus. Prince Charming has to find the sleeping princess and help save the day!
Although the story line is predictable as it follows the traditional Snow White theme, the modern twist is well-received. The various groups of the college display stereotypical characters, yet it helps to portray the message of the movie.
The correlations from the classical fairy tale to our modern world make for comical moments, such as the reference to Witchburn when the seven dorks pass by and proclaim, “Hi, Ho.”
Amanda Bynes is a tween sensation because of her humble, down to earth character. She presents herself as a real person rather than an untouchable matriarch.
For tweens, having someone they can relate to is important. Kids have been able to watch Ms. Bynes progress through the years on shows such as The Amanda Show all the way up to her latest film, Hairspray.
Nevertheless, the movie is set on a college campus, so be aware of its PG-13 rating due to “harsh” language at times, college hazing and party rituals, as well as some sexual innuendos.
Having three girls at home and being able to relate to Sydney White’s character, I found this movie quite enjoying. I also like to see movies with a positive message displayed so prominently throughout.
Especially as it addresses issues faced during the troubling tweens and teens years, it’s important to remain yourself, stand up for what you believe, and simply accept others for who they are.
The DVD hits stores shelves on January 22 or you can enter to win one of three copies on our Christian preteen site! We gave it 4.5 thumbs up (my toddlers couldn’t really vote on this one).