knight_ander (knight_ander) wrote,

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Movie Review: Enchanted by Enchanted


If you see just one holiday-romantic-comedy this season (like there are a whole lot of them out there) go see Enchanted.

While I initially expected "Disney does Shrek" I was pleasently surprised to see that this animated/live-action feature was just Disney spoofing itself, not lampooning itself.

Amy Adams (who's small role in Catch Me If You Can practically stole the movie, imo) plays/voices Giselle the soon-to-be princess who is banished from her animated world by her wicked future-step-mother-in-law, Queen Narissa (played/voiced by an unrecognizeable Susan Sarandon), and into modern-day, unanimated (relatively speaking) Manhattan. Naturally our young heroine is confused by this strange new world, and she's not the only one confused. When a little girl and her father (played by Patrick "Dr. McDreamy" Dempsey) come upon her, they are not sure what to think of her. The little girl thinks she's a princess from a fairy tale, while her father, a divorce lawyer by trade who doesn't believe in dreams coming true, happily ever after, and all that nonsense, thinks she's a girl who needs professional help. But the father has enough of a kind heart to let Giselle stay with him and his daughter for the night, and that's when things start to get really weird. As says:

there probably isn't a Disney princess worth her tiara who doesn't have the power to instantly summon woodland creatures with the sound of her tinkling voice. Once Giselle pops up in the Big Apple, however, she has to settle for pigeons, [flies, roaches] and rats instead of bunnies and bluebirds.

And what's a Disney Princess movie without a few songs? Giselle serenades the "vermin" as they clean the Phillip's family apartment with a Happy Working Song and turns Central Park into a Broadway show in an attempt to convince Dempsey's Robert how he'll know he's in love with the song That's How You Know. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that Adams could sing so well, and even James Marsden as Giselle's future husband, Prince Edward, isn't half-bad, either.

While the film may tip-toe the edge of camp, the complete and convincing sincerity of Adams (in a near Oscar-worthy performance), the near over-the-top enthusiasm of Marsden, and Dempsey's "what in the world have I gotten into with this girl?" attitude keep it just a perilous-step away from that edge. As a romantic-comedy there are times where you want to root against a character, including Robert's future fiancé Nancy, but they just won't let you! There are moments when the queen's lackey and a suddenly-speechless chipmunk revert real-life into a cartoon, but that's what you bring the kids for.

In the end, Enchanted is a little perdictable; the cliamax is a little over-done with special effects, and the movie is definately a New York City show-piece, but I enjoyed it all the same. Filled with hidden references to other Disney princesses (hint: Amy Adams isn't the only Disney Princess in the movie), I give Enchanted a B+.
Tags: disney, movies, reviews

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