A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song

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A Cinderella Story:
Once Upon a Song
A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song poster.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byDamon Santostefano
Produced byMichelle Johnston
Written by
Based onA Cinderella Story
by Leigh Dunlap
Music byBraden Kimbell
Edited byTony Lombardo
Distributed byWarner Premiere
Release date
  • September 6, 2011 (2011-09-06)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States

A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song is a 2011 American teen musical comedy film directed by Damon Santostefano and starring Lucy Hale, Freddie Stroma, Megan Park, Matthew Lintz and Missi Pyle. It is a sequel to Another Cinderella Story (2008) and the third installment in A Cinderella Story series. The film was released on DVD on September 6, 2011,[1] and premiered on ABC Family on January 22, 2012.[2]


17-year-old aspiring singer, Katie Gibbs (Lucy Hale), is over-worked, bullied, and constantly harassed by her stepfamily, the Van Ravensways — shallow stepmother Gail (Missi Pyle), bratty teenage stepsister Bev (Megan Park), and younger troublemaking stepbrother Victor (Matthew Lintz). Despite how badly they treat her, Katie does their bidding with no complaints in fear that they might put her into foster care, and is only putting up with their emotional abuse until she turns 18 and graduates from high school.

In a dream, Katie performs a music video for her hit single ("Run This Town"). Then Victor wakes her up, demanding breakfast. At the Wellesley Academy of the Arts, of which Gail is headmistress, Guy Morgan (Dikran Tulaine) — English president of Massive Records, Inc. enrolls his son, Luke (Freddie Stroma). Katie, wanting to change her life for the better, sneaks her demo CD into Guy's briefcase. Guy wants Luke to produce an upcoming showcase at the Academy; Luke, however, is less than excited about following in his dad's footsteps.

Back at home, Bev (Megan Park) wants to win a recording contract with Guy in hopes of helping her mother get longer legs. Bev, however, is a terrible singer; the more she practices, the worse she sounds. Guy calls Gail, who is shocked to hear that he loves Katie's demo. Gail lies, claiming it was Bev's demo and that Katie stole it. Meanwhile, Victor steals Katie's clothes and towel while she showers (after squirting his stepsister with ketchup and mustard), and locks her out of the house, naked. Unable to get back inside, Katie trips over a visiting Luke; thinking fast, she covers herself up using the WELCOME mat. Amused by the situation, Luke gives her his jacket. While Bev welcomes Luke, Gail barges into Katie's room and forces her to sing. Then, after shoving Luke out of the house, Gail plans to get Bev a record deal by using Katie's voice. Bev is reluctant, but goes along with this in order to win Luke's affections.

At school, Katie and her best friend, Angela (Jessalyn Wanlim), hear Luke singing in the music room with his best friend, Mickey O'Malley. The entranced Katie writes a song of her own, for him, and admits that she likes him. Angela urges Katie to sing for him at the Bollywood Ball that night, and gives her a costume to wear. Then Gail barges in.

Gail orders Katie to babysit Victor tonight whilst she goes to her cinnamon colonic, since she wants Bev to win Luke over at the Ball. Katie pleads with Ravi (Manu Narayan), Gail's guru (who is no real guru but just a half-Italian/half-American method actor and former KFC worker from New Jersey, named Tony Gupta, who needed the work) to watch Victor while she goes to the Ball. There Katie leads Luke outside and sings ("Extra Ordinary"). He is entranced by her voice. Angela distracts and challenges Gail to a Bollywood dance-off ("Oh Mere Dilruba"). Gail loses thanks to blow in her stomach from her cinnamon colonic and then leaves the Ball. Katie tries to beat Gail home, but with no success. Now it's Katie's turn to get blackmailed: Gail vows to expel Angela from the Academy, which will ruin her chances of getting into Juilliard — unless Katie sings for Bev. To save Angela's dance career, Katie goes along with Gail's plot.

Luke wants to find the girl who sang for him, despite Ms. Dorothy Plumberg the tenure teacher trying to punish him with detention. In the music room, he sees Bev lip-syncing to Katie's voice ("Make You Believe"). Jumping to the obvious-but-wrong conclusion, Luke falls for Bev and invites her to write more songs with him. Much to Bev's horror, he treats her out to a restaurant that evening. Luke is amazed by Bev's musical aptitude, unaware that Katie is texting to her what she should say (because Bev forced her to help), but ends in disaster after Katie drops her phone into her drink thanks to Bev shouting thus shocking Katie. The next day, Luke drops by the house and hits it off with Victor, to whom he gives guitar lessons to. Katie also reconnects with Luke, who doesn't like it when she has to head out again — this time, to throw away Gail's prized portrait that French painter, Maurice, was doing for her, which Victor has ruined by cutting out her face with his mother's Ghandi knife. Bev cuts in on Luke, whom she then forces Victor to help her deceive by using miniature electronic-communication devices, so that Katie can coach her through another date. Katie puts together a song on the spot ("Possibilities"), which Luke sings, thinking it's Bev's (also unaware that the song is actually Katie's). She and Luke kiss, which breaks Katie's heart. Victor takes notice of Katie's distress and sympathizes with her to which Katie refused to take. She then runs off, crying.

Luke falls in love with Bev, unaware that her singing and songwriting talents are actually Katie's. Later, to ensure Katie's cooperation, Gail reveals that she has discovered a loophole that allows her access to the savings account Katie's late father had opened for his daughter; ergo, if Katie doesn't submit to her stepfamily's will, Gail will cut her off without a cent. Victor overhears, learning in the process that his family's money is rightfully Katie's. As it turns out, Victor himself is frequently mistreated by Bev and their mom; he shares no more affection with them than Katie does, and he only went along with their mistreatment of Katie because he was fearful of what they would do to him if he didn't. Feeling guilty over not having had a better relationship with Katie over the years — among other things, she's the only one who remembers his birthday — Victor agrees to help expose the fraud perpetrated by his family.

At the showcase, Victor sabotages Bev's performance of ("Make You Believe") by destroying her iPhone, on which is Katie's recorded singing voice, angering his mother. After Bev receives a lot of booing onstage from the audience, Gail forces Katie to sing live backstage. Luke trips over what's happening; he realizes at last that Bev is a fake and that beautiful voice is actually Katie's.

During Bev's second performance, Luke steals a videocamera and films Katie singing backstage, thus exposing the whole charade. Angela pushes Katie onto the stage to finish the song, much to Bev's humiliation as she runs off. Gail tries to stop Luke, but Tony stops her first by electrocuting her therefore causing her to fall off the stage. The audience and Luke persuade Katie onstage to perform another song ("Bless Myself"). Katie and Luke admit their feelings for each other and kiss. Guy also loves Katie's performance, and green-lights Luke to produce an album for her, which is for Kensington Records. He even agrees to help Angela get into Juilliard.

In a mid-credits scene, Gail weakly attempts to appeal to Guy, but having had enough of her, he decides to tell the school board of her deceit and fraud, causing her to be removed as headmistress of Wellesley Academy. Surprisingly, even Bev is delighted to be rid of her mother, being no stranger herself to Gail's manipulative ways. Gail soon finds herself back to where she started decades before: singing (horribly) at a ranch, where she is bombarded with fruit and booed off the stage.



A Cinderella Story:
Once Upon a Song
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedSeptember 6, 2011 (2011-09-06)
LabelWaterTower Music
A Cinderella Story soundtracks chronology
Another Cinderella Story
A Cinderella Story:
Once Upon a Song

A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits
Singles from A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song
  1. "Run This Town"
    Released: June 24, 2011[3]
  2. "Bless Myself"
    Released: August 18, 2011[4]
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[5]

The accompanying soundtrack album was released on September 6, 2011 by WaterTower Music (the same day as the film's release).[6]

Track listing
1."Run This Town" (Explicit Version)Lucy Hale3:55
2."Bless Myself"Lucy Hale3:41
3."Make You Believe"Lucy Hale3:31
4."Knockin"Freddie Stroma2:59
5."Extra Ordinary"Lucy Hale2:58
6."Oh Mere Dilruba"Manu Narayan3:24
7."Possibilities"Freddie Stroma3:13
8."Twisted Serenade"Big Pain Ticket2:26
9."Knockin"Oral Majority2:28
10."Crazy Girl"The Co-Writes2:56
Total length:31:31

Sample credit

Songs that are not included on the soundtrack album:

  • "She's Terrible" by Lucy Hale[7]
  • "I Ain't Gonna Leap" by Missi Pyle
  • "Party All Night" by Fabio Legarda
  • "I Love the Way You Love Me" by Crazy Girl
  • "Caribbean Girl" by Fabio Legarda
  • "Not My Color, Not My Size" by James Renald
  • "Out Here" by Oral Majority
  • "Ramón's Jam" by Ramón Stagnaro
  • "Make You Believe" by Missi Pyle
  • "Amazing Grace" by John Newton

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed reviews although it did not get criticized by Metacritic. It achieved 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.[8] Rotten audience also rate the film 3.3/5 with the 254 users.[9] Mike McGranaghan of The Aisle Seat scored the film one and ​12 out of four, said: "A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song is like a movie version of iCarly or Victorious or any of those other tween girl shows that combine broad physical humor, mild expressions of pubescent sexuality and fantasies of becoming famous".[10] The DVD Sleuth gave the film 1 out of 2.


  1. ^ http://www.dvdsleuth.com/CinderellaStoryReview/
  2. ^ "Lucy Hale to Star in ABC Family's A CINDERELLA STORY: ONCE UPON A SONG, 1/22". Broadway World. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  3. ^ "Run This Town – Lucy Hale". iTunes Store. July 22, 2018.
  4. ^ "Bless Myself – Lucy Hale". iTunes Store. July 22, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". AllMusic. September 6, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  6. ^ "A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". iTunes Store (US). September 6, 2011.
  7. ^ "Lucy Hale – She's Terrible". YouTube. May 12, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  8. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/a_cinderella_story_once_upon_a_song/#want_to_see
  9. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/a_cinderella_story_once_upon_a_song/#want_to_see
  10. ^ http://aisleseat.com/cinderellastory2.htm

External links[edit]