It took me far too long to realise that Midnight Masquerade is just Cinderella, if Cinderella worked in a legal agency and were a man. It’s a bit shameful I didn’t twig earlier- the film opens with a title card reading “Once upon a Halloween” and everything. In my defense, I was laughing at the super unnecessary green screen building exterior.
Cinderella is working overtime for his boss’ two sons who love threatening to take away his weekend. Seriously, that’s all they talk about. “I don’t care if you have to work all weekend!” is their catchphrase, sometimes swapped out for “I don’t care if you’re playing golf with all four living ex-presidents!” for variety. Long story short, they don’t care.
At least Cinderella’s got his mice and bird friends, here in the form of his sister and precocious niece Ruby. Not my criticism, hers: “I’m precocious!” she chirps. Ruby’s afflicted with a condition that makes her spout things her uncle would already know (“you’re my only uncle”)- her mum has the condition as well (“your sister makes costumes for a living”). Serious case, I prescribe a two week course of ‘show, don’t tell’.
When Cinderella’s not dotting ‘i’s and crossing ‘t’s (something else the boss’ sons won’t shut up about), hes bowling with Ruby and getting embarrassed whilst Ruby tries to set him up with Elyse Samford. Elyse has just taken over her father’s sweet business (she’s the prince! Ooh it’s like being at a panto). Ruby forces the two together in what can’t be described as a meetcute because it’s too damn weird. It’s a meetweird. Yeah that’s right, take yourself to the burn unit.
There’s a scary lack of a sense of humour throughout this film. Elyse makes a joke about pineapple and anchovy pizza but nobody gets her The Room pizza topping jokes funny. The hilarious confusion of Samford and SANford (hahahahahahah) is wheeled out til the end of time, which I guess is still funny beyond a “heh” the first iteration if you’re like six. Cinderella bumps his head on a big styrofome pumpkin which is great but apart from that urrrgghhh.
The important thing is that Cinderella and Elyse do unite their love of bowling and gender-switched fairytales when they get married in a bowling alley. Yep, Elyse is a tycoon, and she chooses to get married in a bowling alley.
A bowling alley though.
Like right on the lane.
It’s not too Halloweeny but that wedding will haunt me forever.
Spoopy Rating: 2/3 because A BOWLING ALLEY