A Jennifer Coolidge Modern Fairy Tale Movie Is Leaving Netflix Soon

A Cinderella Story, starring Jennifer Coolidge and Hilary Duff, is leaving Netflix on January 1.

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

jennifer coolidge

These days, you could say that Jennifer Coolidge is really having a moment. She is the star of the HBO hit show The White Lotus, and that show has been great enough that many new fans of the actor are seeking out other Coolidge content to consume. On Netflix, one of her more memorable films is the 2004 movie A Cinderella Story, but you’ll need to scramble for the remote now because this film is leaving on January 1.

As the name implies, this movie is a retelling of the classic Cinderella tale, but there is a twist: everything has been modernized. Instead of focusing on a royal kingdom, this movie centers its storyline around modern high school students played by Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. They are internet pen pals hoping to meet in real life at the high school’s upcoming Halloween dance, and Jennifer Coolidge plays Duff’s evil stepmother that threatens to ruin everything.

In terms of modernizing the Cinderella story, this movie helps give the titular character a bit more agency and personality. Instead of caring only about meeting a handsome man, Duff’s character Samantha “Sam” Montgomery is an aspiring writer who has to slave away at a local diner to save money so she can attend Princeton. That diner is owned by Jennifer Coolidge’s Fiona, which means she has almost complete control over young Sam’s life.

Like many disaffected youngsters, Sam seeks the comfort of anonymous online friendship. She ends up making an internet pen pal who goes by the online handle “Nomad” to hide the fact that he is actually Austin Ames, a popular quarterback whose social and athletic success masks the fact that he is deeply unhappy. He must deal with his own issues, including his own controlling parent, even as he tries to find the masked woman he danced with at Halloween and Jennifer Coolidge’s Fiona conspires to keep them apart.

A Cinderella Story didn’t exactly wow critics when it was first released, and it has a staggeringly low 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the movie ended up grossing over $70 million worldwide, and it was also a hit with its target demographic, garnering a Kids Choice Award and multiple Teen Choice Awards. One of the latter awards went to Jennifer Coolidge: she won “Choice Movie Sleazebag” for her portrayal of the villainous Fiona, and her performance makes this movie worth watching even if the plot is nothing to write home about.

A Cinderella Story spawned five different direct-to-video sequels, but none of them featured Jennifer Coolidge. These days, however, she has plenty of roles on her plate, including the next season of her hit show The White Lotus. The first season helped her secure her first Emmy win, which may help to explain why Coolidge’s character from the first season is the only one who made the transition to the second season, which is set entirely in Italy.

Ultimately, Jennifer Coolidge is inspirational as an actor. Her first comeback was decades ago, as she made audiences laugh in films like Legally Blonde and American Pie. Now, the success of The White Lotus shows that, at 60 years old, Coolidge still has ways to surprise us. And we can’t wait to watch what she does next!