Julia Roberts is royally evil as the Queen, according to PEOPLE's movie critic

By Alynda Wheat
Updated March 30, 2012 07:00 AM
Credit: Jan Thijs/Relativity Media/Everett

Mirror, Mirror, the new adaptation of Snow White directed by Tarsem Singh (Immortals), stars Julia Roberts as the evil Queen, Lily Collins as Snow White and Armie Hammer as the charming Prince Alcott.

The film is slight but fun, which just might be enough to lure tween girls away from The Hunger Games.

Here are three good reasons why you should go see it:

Julia Roberts is royally evil
Sure, Roberts has flirted with her naughty side before (see: Duplicity, Closer or Larry Crowne – on second thought, don t see Larry Crowne) – but now she’s letting her witch flag fly. As Mirror Mirror‘s vain Queen, she’s manipulative, spoiled and cruel, locking Snow White in her room, starving her subjects and employing black magic when she doesn’t get her way. The role is a tad campy and Roberts’s faux-British accent shaky, but the actress wins points for boldly taking on a part that casts her as beautiful but aging.

The costumes are jaw-dropping
Hey, I wouldn’t mention them if they weren’t fantastic. From the seven dwarves’ clever accordion stilts to Snow’s swan dress (including swan-head fascinator) to the Queen’s how-does-she-get-through-the-doorway ball gowns – all by designer Eiko Ishioka, who sadly died last January – there’s always a visually arresting ensemble onscreen. Plus, if you think Armie Hammer looked hot as Harvard twins in The Social Network, wait until you see him in royal regalia as Prince Alcott.

It’s silly fun
Between The Hunger Games and Bully (also opening this weekend), there’s a lot of heavy competition at the box office. Mirror Mirror doesn’t begin to take itself seriously. Plus, all of the actors seem like they’re having a grand time, including Nathan Lane as the Queen’s gutless henchman, Brighton; the delightful actors playing the protective, sweet dwarves; and Hammer doing his best dull-witted hunk. Even the ethereally beautiful Collins holds her own as a modern Snow White, who grows from simpering miss to saucy outlaw, not content to be rescued by any prince … not even one as cute as Alcott.

Mirror Mirror opens Friday.