Julia Roberts is playing the Wicked Stepmother. So is Charlize Theron. There are two prime time TV shows "inspired" by fairy tales—a wellspring, it seems, of great ideas for entertainment.
I get it. I was, as a child, an enormous believer in fairy tales. There was no doubt in my mind that I would bravely overcome obstacles, there would be a Prince Charming arriving once I'd emerged (triumphant!) from the dark wood, and I would live happily ever after in a well-staffed castle.
One out of three ain't bad (thank you, every day, Neil). Here's what I still can't figure out, however: why was I so certain about those obstacles, that dark wood? I devoted hours to inventing spectacularly grim scenarios in which I matched wits with trolls and wicked witches and wizards who looked nothing like Harry Potter. Prince Charming was able to take care of himself, apparently; I never got much beyond the idea that he would show and be...charming. The castle? I never got inside the front door. "Happily ever after" was such a given the idea that it wouldn't happen was unimaginable.
Was it a response to the way things were when I was a child—when, in my world, women had their adventures (such as they were) before marriage? Of course it was. There was more to it than that, certainly—there were a few Big Bad Wolves in that world of mine—but I'll save that for another post (or a book).