Animated / Family Movie
Distributed By: Walt Disney Productions
Reviewed by Justine Manzano
I have always been a big fan of the Disney Princesses. From the older movies (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty) to those more recent (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin), Disney always engaged you and made you wish you could be a princess too. Growing up, the very idea of a fairy tale had Walt Disney’s name attached to it – that being said, there are some moments, as an adult, when watching the Disney Princess movies leaves you thinking you have just watched the same movie over and over again. So, just when you thought Disney may not be realizing it’s intense use of clichés, they make a movie that pokes fun at that very fact with the release of Enchanted, Disney’s partially animated, mostly live-action comedy.
Enchanted follows the adventures of Giselle (Amy Adams), a young animated girl from the land of Andalasia, who is looking for true love’s kiss. There she meets Prince Edward (James Marsden, the X-Men trilogy, Superman Returns), who is looking for the very same thing – they meet because they are singing the same song – and they plan to marry. They lived happily ever after, right? Not so much…Prince Edward’s evil step-mother, Queen Nerissa (Susan Sarandon) will lose the throne if he marries, so she disguises herself as an old woman and pushes Giselle down a well – a well that leads to a sewer manhole in New York City – the real world. Suddenly live action, Giselle is rescued from peril by a divorce lawyer named Robert (Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy) (who doesn’t believe in happy endings) and his young daughter (Rachel Covey). Assuming that she is a little crazy, but unable to avoid her innocent charm as she explains how she got to his very live action world, Robert allows her to sleep on his couch for the night, a fact that pisses off his girlfriend Nancy (Idina Menzel, Rent). Before long, Giselle has fully won Robert and his daughter over, as she searches for her Prince, who she has correctly assumed is looking for her and avoids Nerissa’s murderous plots. But is it possible that reality offers some more complications for the once-animated Giselle than she had ever planned? What if Edward isn’t her true love after all? What if her true love is the very man who believes there IS no such thing as Happily Ever After?
Enchanted had its cheesier moments. For instance, there was the dance in which the announcer made the couples conveniently switch partners so that Giselle and Robert ended up dancing together. Why would they do that at any dance? “Hey folks, dance with someone ELSE, who needs monogamy?” Yeah…that smelled like a plot device. There was also the whole, why would you ever let anyone you think is that crazy sleep in your house with your child thing, and a few lines that reeked of romance novel fodder (“Don’t leave me!”). However, the movie was a lot more comic than cheesy. The scenes where Giselle gets the city animals (roaches, rats and pigeons) to help her clean and the scenes where she begins to sing in the middle of the street were real wonders and they weren’t the only ones. I found myself laughing quite a bit and completely taken in by the romantic side of the film.
All in all, this human fairy tale did it for me. It had some cheesiness, but it’s a FAIRY TALE and all fairy tales have some cheesiness. Poking fun at every cliché and having a great sense of humor all the while, Enchanted was definitely a film I would recommend. Hell, I plan to buy it when it comes out on DVD – and I think you should too. After all, we all need a little Happily Ever After in my life, and this movie will definitely touch on your mushy side.