Amanda Bynes and seven dorks reinvent Snow White

Sydney White

on September 21, 2007 by Annlee Ellingson
A sequel of sorts to producer Clifford Werber's A Cinderella Story , Sydney White reimagines the fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a contemporary comedy set on a southern college campus. But instead of dwarfs we have dorks, and instead of Snow we have Sydney, played by Amanda Bynes, a likeable young actress gently segueing into adulthood away from popping paparazzi bulbs. Along with last year's She's the Man , a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night , Bynes has also recently appeared in Hairspray , demonstrating a literary taste while playing to her base of tween girls.

Losing her mother at a young age, Sydney White was practically raised on a construction site by her plumber dad (John Schneider). When she sets off for college, she hopes to join her mom's sorority as means of feeling close to her, but her clueless tomboyism—not to mention the attention she attracts from hot frat boy Tyler Prince (Matt Long)—doesn't endear her to Kappa and student body president Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton). Sydney fails to find sisterhood and ends up on the doorstep of the Vortex, a dilapidated shack where seven outcasts—the aforementioned dorks, with Dwarf -esque qualities just familiar enough to be fun—have found a place to call home. Together this unlikely crew sets out to bring the Greek reign on campus to an end.

Because the script by Chad Gomez Creasey doesn't force the analogy to its source material (there's no evil stepmother arranging for Sydney's assassination and demanding her heart as proof that she's dead), the parallels when they appear are unexpected and often delightful. Particularly clever are the modern-day equivalent of a magic mirror that declares who is the fairest of them all; the poison, ahem, Apple; and the contemporary use of “Hi Ho.” Indeed, the fairest is Bynes herself, a round-cheeked, shiny-eyed heroine with skittish, self-effacing comic timing who's way more appealing than any fairytale princess. Distributor: Universal
Cast: Amanda Bynes, Sara Paxton, Matt Long, Jack Carpenter, Jeremy Howard and John Schneider
Director: Joe Nussbaum
Screenwriter: Chad Gomez Creasey
Producers: James G. Robinson, Clifford Werber and David Robinson
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG-13 for some language, sexual humor and partying
Running time: 108 min.
Release date: September 21, 2007
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