Hollywood has to be the most eco-friendly town on the planet. Boy, do they know how to reuse and recycle! Currently, the theme du jour is fairy tales. Tinsel Town has remade Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Snow White (twice) and there are more on the way. Of course, producers have to claim some originality—a new spin on a classic tale, if you will. Oddly, they all seem to have come up with the same new spin.
In this 21st century world of political correctness, it’s getting harder and harder to tell the good guys from the bad. Wicked witches and evil queens can’t just be wicked and evil, they’re misunderstood or bullied or abused. In the Broadway musical Wicked—which I blame entirely for this trend—the Wicked Witch of the West isn’t truly wicked, she just gets all the wrong outcomes with all the right intentions: She’s just socially awkward. So I guess that makes Dorothy, her murderer, the bad guy.
In Snow White and the Huntsman, Charlize Theron’s evil queen…well, she’s pretty rotten. Nevertheless, she wasn’t born rotten, she was made rotten—ravaged and rejected by the true evil-doers, the true stealers of souls: men. Moreover, you will notice the A-lister, the name above the title—Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron—is playing the bad guy, well the ‘bad guy.’
Angelina Jolie just signed on to star in the Sleeping Beauty remake. Of course, not only is she playing Maleficent, the film is even titled Maleficent. In this case, however, you can see why the big star is stepping into the villain’s role. I mean, Sleeping Beauty doesn’t require a lot of range. At least Maleficent has lines and moves. Although to be perfectly honest, if you name your baby Maleficent, does she really have a shot? It’s like naming your child Jeeves and hoping he doesn’t become a butler.
So, in these updated fairy tales, you may have some trouble telling the good guys from the bad. Here’s a tip: pointy crown=evil, rounded crown=good. Either way, you’d better think twice before you pour the water on the witch.