35 A Cinderella Story Facts (2004) Hilary Duff Fans Need To Know

A Cinderella Story (2004) is the memorable romantic comedy featuring Hilary Duff, Chad Micahel Murray and Jennifer Coolidge which puts a modern twist on the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. Directed by Mark Rosman, the film offers a Y2K take on the romantic story and has many quotable lines throughout its feel-good narrative. Our A Cinderella Story facts include where Fiona’s diner is really located, why Hilary Duff’s character has the surname “Montgomery” and where audiences can see a connection in the film with Miss Congeniality.

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A Cinderella Story (2004) is the memorable romantic comedy featuring Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray and Jennifer Coolidge which puts a modern twist on the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. Directed by Mark Rosman, the film offers a Y2K take on the romantic story and has many quotable lines throughout its feel-good narrative.

A Cinderella Story (2004) stars Hilary Duff as Samantha "Sam" Montgomery, a high school student living with her wicked stepmother and stepsisters after the untimely death of her father in an earthquake. Sam dreams of escaping the confines of her unhappy home life and meets a boy she likes on an online chatroom. Chad Michael Murray is Austin Ames, the handsome and popular quarterback at Sam's school, is secretly hoping to pursue writing instead of sport instead and forms a bond with Sam on the chatroom. Neither of them know who each other is in real life due to usernames but they go to the same school and are in different social categories.

Our A Cinderella Story facts include where Fiona’s diner is really located, why Hilary Duff’s character has the surname “Montgomery” and where audiences can see a connection in the film with Miss Congeniality.

The film received mixed, largely negative, reviews from critics but gained popularity among its target audience and has stayed a favourite with original audiences as they have grown older. A Cinderella Story grossed over $70 million worldwide and spawned several direct-to-video sequels focussed on Cinderella and Princesses.

1. A Cinderella Story Was Well-Liked By Audiences Due To Its Themes

Despite its critical failure, audiences were drawn to the familiar elements of the story, such as the transformation of a young girl overcoming obstacles and finding her true self. The film incorporates modern-day themes and challenges faced by teenagers, including social pressures, self-discovery, and the pursuit of dreams, making it relatable to its target audience.

2. Mark Rosman Also Directed Episodes Of Lizzie McGuire & Even Stevens

In 2004, director Mark Rosman brought A Cinderella Story to life. The screenplay was written by Leigh Dunlap and featured a talented cast including Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray, Jennifer Coolidge, and Regina King. 

Director Mark Rosman also directed several episodes of Hilary Duff’s TV Show “Lizzie McGuire” and Even Stevens with Shia LaBeouf. HE has also directed “The Wonderful World Of Disney” (2000), “The Perfect Man” (2005), “Princess” (2008), “A Wish Come True” (2015) and “William & Kate” (2011).

3. A Cinderella Story Had To Compete With Several Princess Films

The idea for a modernised adaptation of the Cinderella story was conceived by Clifford Werber, who recognized its enduring appeal as the ultimate wish-fulfilment fantasy with an underlying message of empowerment. A Cinderella Story premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on July 10, 2004. 

It faced competition from other princess-themed or fantasy films, such as "The Prince & Me" (2004), "Ella Enchanted" (2004), and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" (2004).

4. A Cinderella Story Has A 12% Approval Rating!

On Rotten Tomatoes, A Cinderella Story holds a 12% approval rating based on 104 reviews, with an average rating of 3.6/10. The critical consensus states that it is an uninspired and generic update of the classic fairy tale. 

On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 25 out of 100, indicating generally unfavourable reviews. However, audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.

5. Some Critics Found A Cinderella Story To Be “Lame” And “Shallow”

Critics described A Cinderella Story as a lame and shallow movie, with some considering it a lazy retelling of the girl-meets-boy trope. The attempts to modernise elements of the story were seen as gimmicky and resulted in illogical plot developments, such as the cell phone being used as the glass slipper. Some critics also felt that Sam, portrayed as a perfect teenager, undermined the moral of an average person believing in oneself.

6. The Film Won The Award For Choice Movie Blush Scene

At the 2005 Teen Choice Awards, A Cinderella Story (2004) received five nominations and won the award for Choice Movie Blush Scene. Additionally, Hilary Duff won the Kids Choice Awards for Favourite Movie Actress in the same year.

7. A Cinderella Story (2004) Accumulated A Total Of $70,067,909

During its opening weekend, A Cinderella Story (2004) earned $13,623,350 in 2,625 theatres across the United States and Canada. It ranked #4 at the box office, following "I, Robot," "Spider-Man 2," and "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." 

By the end of its theatrical run, the film accumulated $51,438,175 domestically and $18,629,734 internationally, resulting in a worldwide total of $70,067,909.

8. Did Terry Give Away Sam’s Identity?

During the dance scene, Terry (played by Simon Helberg) mentions Austin Ames (Chad Michael Murray) being with a lady, which should indicate that Austin recognises Samantha Montgomery (Hilary Duff) as Cinderella since Terry is obsessed with her and constantly follows her.

9. Chad Michael Murray And Julie Gonzalo Have Previously Worked Together

Chad Michael Murray and Julie Gonzalo previously appeared together in "Freaky Friday" (2003). Chad Michael Murray and Lin Shaye would later reunite in the true crime film "Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman" (2021).

10. Christine Herring And Alexis Raich’s Film Debut

Christie Herring and Alexis Raich made their debut in A Cinderella Story (2004).

11. The Miss Congeniality Statue Of Liberty Costume Makes An Appearance

During the costume Halloween dance, there is a girl dressed as the Statue of Liberty, wearing the same outfit Sandra Bullock wore in "Miss Congeniality" (2000). Coincidentally, Regina King appeared in "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous" (2005).

12. A Cinderella Story (2004) Is The First Of Five Cinderella Films

A Cinderella Story (2004) is the first instalment of five modern-time Cinderella movies. The other films in the series include "Another Cinderella Story" (2008), "A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song" (2011), "A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits" (2016), and "A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish" (2019).

These sequels utilised themes and situations inspired by the Cinderella tale but did not feature any characters from the original film. In contrast to the first film, the sequels incorporated musical, dance, and holiday event themes.

13. Cinderella Was Hilary Duff’s Favourite Childhood Story

Hilary Duff accepted the lead role of Sam in A Cinderella Story (2004) because Charles Perrault's story "Cinderella" was her favourite fairy tale during her childhood.

14. Hilary Duff Never Attended High School In Real Life

Hilary Duff was home-schooled from the third grade onwards, allowing her to focus on her acting career and not worry about missing classes for the movie. Despite portraying a bullied "nerdy" high schooler in the film, Duff herself never attended high school.

15. Carter’s “Believing” Pays Off!

In Carter's first scene, he rehearses a line for a role, saying, "Anything is possible if you just believe." Later in the movie, he appears in a commercial for "Believe" acne cream and repeats the same line, tying it back to his earlier dialogue.

16. A Cinderella Story (2004) Helped Hilary Duff Pass Her Driving Test

In preparation for her driving test, Hilary Duff drove herself between filming locations during principal photography for A Cinderella Story (2004).

17. Sam Has Some Similarities To Harry Potter

In Samantha's bedroom, by her bed, there are Harry Potter books. This is a parallel to Harry Potter living in a closet under the stairs, similar to Samantha living in the attic, and both characters being orphans.

18. Jennifer Coolidge Taped On Fiona’s Fingernails

Jennifer Coolidge had to attach her fake fingernails with tape because she is allergic to glue.

19. Three Of The Cast Have Worked Together On Veronica Mars

Julie Gonzalo, Bradley Joseph, and J.D. Pardo appeared on "Veronica Mars" (2004).

20. Kevin Kilner And Chad Michael Murray Have Both Worked On One Tree Hill

Kevin Kilner and Chad Michael Murray appeared on "One Tree Hill" (2003).

21. The A Cinderella Story Characters Have Distinct Colour Schemes

Many characters in A Cinderella Story (2004) have distinct colour schemes: Samantha Montgomery and Austin Ames primarily wear blue, Fiona primarily wears pink, Brianna primarily wears green, and Gabriella primarily wears red. These colour schemes align with the corresponding characters in Disney's "Cinderella" (1950).

22. The Diner And Sam’s Bedroom Were Created On A Sound Stage

Production designer Charles William Breen constructed the interior of the diner and Sam's attic bedroom on a soundstage at Warner Brothers.

23. Regina George And Jennifer Coolidge Have Worked Together Before

Regina King and Jennifer Coolidge appeared in "Down to Earth" (2001) and "Legally Blonde 2" (2003).

24. There Is A Connection With The Big Bang Theory

Regina King and Simon Helberg both appeared on "The Big Bang Theory" (2007). Dan Byrd later appeared on its spinoff, "Young Sheldon."

25. Rupert Grint Was Originally Meant To Play Austin Ames!

Rupert Grint initially won the role of Austin Ames but had to drop out due to commitments to "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004). The role of Austin Ames was then given to Chad Michael Murray.

26. 818 And 609 Are Actually Relevant Numbers

Samantha Montgomery's (Hilary Duff's) screen name ends with 818, which is the area code for the San Fernando Valley where the movie is set. Austin Ames' (Chad Michael Murray's) online screen name ends with 609, representing the area code for the Princeton area, where they both aspire to go.

27. Sam Montgomery Is A Nod To Elizabeth Montgomery

Samantha Montgomery's name is a nod to Elizabeth Montgomery, the star of "Bewitched," whose character's name was Samantha Stephens.

28. Lizzie McGuire And Sam Are Quite Similar Roles

This is the second time Hilary Duff portrays a character who is looked down upon and made fun of by a mean and popular girl. The first instance was in Lizzie McGuire, which was released three years prior.

29. The Diner Is Actually George’s 50’s Diner In Long Beach California

The diner where Samantha Montgomery (Hilary Duff) works is situated in Long Beach at the address 4390 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, California. The actual name of the diner is "George's 50's Diner."

30. Carter’s Necklaces Are Taped To His Shirt

In his first scene on A Cinderella Story (2004), the necklaces around Carter's (Dan Byrd's) neck were taped onto his shirt to prevent any noise interference from the microphone.

31. There Is A “Dave” Connection

The trailer for A Cinderella Story (2004) featured music by James Newton Howard, specifically from the movie "Dave" (1993).

32. Julie Gonzalo Has Played A Mean Highschooler Before

A Cinderella Story (2004) marks the second time Julie Gonzalo portrays a mean girl in a high school movie, with the first being in "Freaky Friday" (2003). Chad Michael Murray also appeared in "Freaky Friday" (2003).

33. Sam Dropping A Fish At The Ball May Be A Reference

When Austin asks Sam’s stepsisters what item Cinderella dropped at the dance, Brianna jokingly guesses a fish. This could be a playful reference to Jerry Lewis's film "Cinderfella" (1960), where his goldfish transforms into his driver for the ball and reverts to a fish at midnight.

34. There Is A The Dating Game Connection

The song playing when Austin checks out potential girls from the dance is "Spanish Flea" by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, which was famously used during the introductions of contestants on the TV show The Dating Game (1965).

35. There Is A Dukes Of Hazzard Connection

When the Volkswagen Beetles arrive in A Cinderella Story (2004), one of them has a horn similar to the one on the General Lee from the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985).

A Cinderella Story Facts (2004) - 35 A Cinderella Story Facts (2004) Hilary Duff Fans Need To Know

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