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Film / A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song

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The second sequel to A Cinderella Story. Katie (Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars) dreams of being a recording artist, but is continually thwarted by her cruel stepmother (Missi Pyle) and stepsister (Megan Park of The Secret Life of the American Teenager). When Katie falls hard for Luke (Freddie Stroma), the new boy at her Performing Arts school, she tries to get his attention with her singing. But when her stepsister takes credit for Katie's amazing voice and Luke falls for the wrong girl, Katie must learn to stand up for her dreams before her stepmother forces Katie to sing Luke into the arms of her wicked stepsister.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Mother: Gail to all of her children. Katie gets it worst of all, but her other children are either ignored like Victor or tools like Bev.
  • Actor Allusion: Beth tells Katie that she could go on American Idol and forget all about her stepfamily. In 2003, Lucy Hale made the final group in American Juniors, which is a spinoff of Idol.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Gail threatens to hurt Angela if Katie does not go along with the scheme.
  • Anti-Love Song:
Like a malignant tumor,
She's got no sense of humor.
Just like a swollen blister,
It's best to just resist her.
She's not exactly a witch,
She's just a terrible B...
  • Bad Date: Bev and Luke's. It's so bad it's funny.
  • Black Best Friend: Angela to Katie and Micky to Luke.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Sort of. Luke doesn't normally have any problem talking to women, but any time he talks with Katie he finds it difficult to fully verbalize any thought, even when he thinks it's Bev he's in love with.
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  • Child Prodigy: Victor, who builds spy equipment from scratch, has his own lair, knows how to take control of the security system and constantly pulls Rube Goldberg-esk pranks on everyone.
  • Cinderella Circumstances: Katie, which is sort of the entire premise of the movie.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Gail in her feeble attempts to understand spirituality.
  • Dance Off: Angela uses this to distract Gail at the dance.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Upon seeing Bev get ready to seduce Luke with the load of lies Gail cooked up, Katie decides to take her life into her own hands.
  • Darker And Grittier: Though still very much a movie acceptable for younger audiences, neither of those which proceeded it dealt as blatantly with sexual or adult content.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Luke momentarily upon seeing Katie naked except for the door mat she's using to cover herself. He then promptly give her his jacket and proceeds to continuously, if subtly, check her out.
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  • Dreadful Musician: Bev couldn't carry a tune if it was strapped to her back.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Bev's character overall.
  • Financial Abuse: Gail initially threatens to steal Katie's inheritance if she does not go along with her scheme. It is later revealed that she's already stolen all her money anyway.
    • She also extorts money from the school.
  • Good All Along: Victor. He may "Satan's very own personal mini-me", but he does actually care about Katie and mans up to help her when he sees she really needs him.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Katie attempts to cover up her nakedness by using a potted plant (which subsequently breaks) and later a welcome mat.
  • Hidden Depths: Bev. She may be shallow and conceited and doesn't mind lying to get what she wants, but she does have a some decent emotions somewhere, very deep down.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Not much, given that it is still a PG-rated movie aimed at teens. Still, the protagonists of the first two movies never got an implied nude scene like Katie does here.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Bev admits that she is basically doing her mother's bidding. This goes nowhere.
  • Implausible Deniability: The inevitable conclusion of all Gail and Bev's lies.
  • Lost Will And Testament: Averted. Katie's father had the sense to leave Katie a trust-fund. However, Gail steals it away.
  • Love at First Note: Played Straight, though Katie technically meets Luke well before he hears her sing. The exploitation of this trope is the movie's premise.
  • Maintain the Lie: Katie struggles with this as she falls more and more in love with Luke.
  • Mistaken Identity: Before the events of the film Gail mistakes the very ethnic looking actor Tony for a spiritual Guru. Now he spends all his days living in her house as her personal Guru under the fake name Ravi. Katie finds out mid-way through and enlists his help in changing her life.
  • Modesty Towel: Katie briefly wears one before Victor deprives her of it and locks her out of the house.
  • Mythology Gag: "Tell Me Something I Don't Know"
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: Victor traps Katie outside with no clothes and no towel. She uses a potted plant to cover herself but it breaks and she ends up wearing a welcome mat.
    • An Aesop: This is why we put locks on doors people.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently Luke's last girlfriend was certifiably insane. The details of their relationship are never given but whatever happened may have ended with her being taken off to a mental hospital.
  • Oh, Crap!: Katie's face when Luke mistakes Bev for her.
  • Playing Cyrano: Katie is forced by Gail to do this for Bev. Unlike most examples, Luke instantly falls in love with Katie the second he realizes the truth. Arguably justified in that he realized that she was being manipulated the whole time.
  • Running Gag: Luke is constantly ambushed by musical acts wanting to audition for him while he's in the bathroom.
  • Sadist Teacher: Gail, well a Sadist Headmistress.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: The Chase Scene between Luke, Micky, the Vice Principle and a crazed fan.
  • Snowball Lie: Bev using Katie's talent becomes more and more complicated until it just all falls apart.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Luke
  • The Stinger: Only about two seconds into the credits, but it still counts.
  • That Syncing Feeling: While Bev is on stage, first her brother destroy the recording, but Bev pretends that her microphone do not work any more. Then Katie is forced to sing her sister's part in the backstage. But then, Luke start to film her with a movie camera, and Katie 's best friend push her on stage, revealing the fraud.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Katie and Bev
  • Unwanted Assistance: Katie demands Tony and Victor not help get her out from under Gail, but they do it anyway. Without them, and Luke lending his own timely assistance, Bev and Gail might have won.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Gail
  • Witch with a Capital B: Well, subverted; she's not exactly a witch, she's just a terrible b...


Video Example(s):


A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song

Lucy Hale gets locked out naked and uses a potted plant to cover herself.

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