The classic tale of Cinderella has had many versions in film and television but the essence of the story is finding ones place in the world around them. We all want to be accepted for who we are, recognized for what we can do, and loved for the person we are. And with a contemporary twist to the story, Nickelodeon brings us Rags.
Rags is directed by Bille Woodruff and stars Max Schneider as Charlie Prince, an orphan growing up in New York City with his uncaring stepfather and completely spoiled stepbrothers Andrew and Lloyd (Burkely Duffield). Charlie dreams of becoming a singer and making it big in the world. He’s multi-talented in that he can write, dance, and sing.
Keke Palmer plays Kadee Worth, the daughter of music industry mogul Reginald Worth (Isaiah Mustafa) and is a pop music icon. She’s world famous and seems to have it all but is unhappy because while she’s become famous singing other people’s songs, she wants the world to hear her own voice and hear the songs that she’s written.
The film is an interesting new take on the Cinderella story. One of the more successful things (besides the music) was the character of Shawn (Drake Bell). He plays the semi-fairy godmother character in that he’s a sound engineer that first hears Charlie sing. He takes a liking to his music so much that he helps to produce a demo tape with him that he calls “Rags.” It’s a new take on the classic tale and one that is quite successful.
Speaking of the music, it’s great! The film may be titled “Rags,” but this film takes the rags and brings on the riches. Great music and great dancing is something that people of all ages will thoroughly enjoy in this film. The song “Not That Different At All” is a great song that will stick with you and make you want to go out and buy the soundtrack.
The director does a good job of keeping the pace of the film moving along smoothly. There’s rarely a time in which the film gets too slow and he does a good job keeping on point in every scene.
Acting is good and everyone does a good job. Keke Palmer and Drake Bell are the stand-outs here. Bell has a small role but his maturity stands out and it comes across on screen. Palmer does a good job adding a lot of depth into her character.
Rags is a fun movie that both adults and children will enjoy. It’s a contemporary take on a classic tale and with some new takes on a classic story that will keep you interested, this is one movie you should definitely tune in to.
FINAL GRADE: B +
Reel Film News Movie Review by Bill Ayres
Rags airs Monday, May 28th, at 8:00PM ET/PT on Nickelodeon