DVD review: Cinderella Story 3 - Once Upon A Song, (PG), (88 mins), new on DVD.

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The Prince is a would-be record producer. Cinderella is a down-trodden girl oppressed by her bullying step-mom and her wannabee singer step-sister.

The glass slipper is Cinderella’s wonderful voice.

The Prince hears it but ghastly step-mom tricks him into believing that it belongs to ghastly-step sister.

All the elements of the traditional fairy-tale are there, very cleverly uprooted into modern times.

But whereas Snow White And The Huntsman goes all out for hard-nosed, grim and gritty, director Damon Santostefano is delighted to keep it all pink and fluffy for a little slice of contemporary fantasy.

To enjoy all its finer nuances, clearly you have to be teenage and female; but even a forty-something bloke, not remotely its target audience, would happily concede that it has got a charm all its own, with some winning performances, particularly from Missi Pyle and Lucy Hale, the latter as our modern-day Cinders.

Above all, you have to admire the way the tale is woven – and not forced – into a scenario likely to appeal to tender-hearted 2012 teens.

You can quite believe that winning a pop talent contest is the same as meeting a prince these days. Getting a record contract is clearly the equivalent of marrying him.

The nastiness is never truly nasty; the tone is never less than upbeat and bouncy; and Santostefano marshals it all neatly towards the happy ending you never for a moment doubt is coming.

Phil Hewitt