A Cinderella Story

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A Cinderella Story is a 2004 retelling of Cinderella starring Hilary Duff.

Sam Montgomery is the downtrodden "Diner Girl", a teen girl who's been forced to waitress at her cruel stepmother's diner ever since her father died. The only thing she has is the hope of getting out of the house and going to Princeton. Another person is planning on going to Princeton, a young man that she met at a chatroom who goes to the same school as her. She's fallen in love him, and they plan to reveal their identities to each other at the Halloween dance. It turns out her Internet beau was the captain of the football team. How will Austin react to the girl of his dreams being a dorky waitress?

Spiritual Predecessor to Another Cinderella Story and, subsequently, A Cinderella Story Once Upon A Song.

Tropes used in A Cinderella Story include:
  • Alpha Bitch: Shelby.
  • And a Diet Coke: In one scene at the diner.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Astrid, the morning announcement girl with the multicolored hair. She becomes Carter's girlfriend in the end.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Sam's father died, she stated her stepmother inherited everything because he left no will. Then, in the end, it's revealed he did leave a will.
  • Cinderella Circumstances
  • Cool Loser: Sam.
  • Dance of Romance
  • Disappeared Dad: Sam's dad died in an earthquake.
  • Girl Posse: Shelby has one.
  • Jerkass: Fiona, the stepsisters, Shelby and her squad...
  • Ivy League for Everyone
  • Karma Houdini: Shelby.
    • Well she doesn't get the boy, so meh.
      • She doesn't get either boy. After Carter stars in a commercial, she attempts to hook up with him and gets promptly shot down for Astrid. In front of a crowd of people, no less.
    • Also averted with Sam's stepfamily when they lost Sam's inheritance and ended up working at the diner.
  • Mama Bear: Rhonda to Sam. Sam's the only reason Rhonda stayed at the dinner all those years.
  • Redemption in the Rain
  • Sassy Black Woman: Rhonda.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Not intentionally though. For the first part of the movie neither knew the other outside of their screen names.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Sam and the stepsisters; Sam and Shelby.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The ugly stepsisters.
    • They obviously got it from Fiona. "Norwegia"?
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: We don't actually see Fiona acting like the jerk she is until after Sam's father dies.
    • There is a hint of it in the wedding scene, when Fiona excluded Sam from the wedding photo.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Oh so much to make you feel dead inside at the end, but especailly the pep-rally scene.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Sam has to be back at the diner.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Austin's dad wants him to go a different college and make a career as a football player, assuming it's his son's "dream". After finally getting together with Sam, Austin sets his dad straight and tells him he plans on going to Princeton. This turns into a subversion as Austin's dad decides to support his decision.
  • Wicked Stepmother
  • Will: Sam's stepmother had initially gotten everything that belonged to Sam's father because he didn't make a will stating otherwise but it was eventually revealed he did leave a will and Fiona knew about it. To avoid prison time for this, she agreed to perform "community services" at the diner.