Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Comedy,Romance A truely “Enchanted” experience.

A truely “Enchanted” experience.

 

“Is that the only word you know? ‘No?’…No! No! No! Over and over! When you keep saying “No!” it just makes me so… Sometimes you make me so!… angry,” screams a now disenchanted Giselle (Amy Adams) at overly serious, single dad Robert (Patrick Dempsey), and then she proceeds to giggle at the prospect of being so angry, an emotion she’s never experienced before. A whole new world is opening up for her, and we the audience are meant to be happy for her, and we are…but we’re also a little sad.

In “Enchanted”, Disney finally answers the question, “What would happen if cartoon characters from a Disney movie came to our world?” Okay, yes, to be fair, I’m not sure too many people actually asked the question, but never-the-less, Director Kevin Lima brings us the answers in the form of a marvelous fairy-tale come true. In the films brilliantly animated opening scene, we’re introduced to Giselle, a lonely and longing cliche Disney Princess, singing to the heavens (and forest animals) about “True Love’s Kiss.” It seems her destiny is to marry Prince Edward (James Marsden), but the evil Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) and her witless henchmen, Nathaniel (Timothy Spall), have been purposefully keeping the two young would-be lovers apart to insure Narissa stays on the throne of the fairytale kingdom of Andalasia. After Edward and Giselle do find one another (in a moment too priceless to spoil here), Narissa takes the form of an old hag and tricks Giselle into looking over a wishing well and then pushes her in and sends her to our modern world, where Giselle appears in the center of Times Square in New York City.

Giselle wanders the streets in her fancy (and poofy) wedding dress until she stumbles into Robert and his young daughter, Morgan (Rachel Covey). Robert reluctantly agrees to bring Giselle up in there apartment to call her a cab, but an exhausted Giselle falls asleep immediately on the couch before he can. The following morning brings the ultimate culture clash, as Giselle awakens to find Roberts dirty apartment all around her, and in Disney Princess fashion, calls out for animals to help her clean up. Being NYC, the animals that answer the call are pidgeons, cockroaches, flies and rats. Robert and Morgan awaken to the vermin filled apartment and quickly escort the animals out. Robert finds Giselle having just showered and marvelling at the “magical room.” Disaster then stikes as Robert’s girlfriend of 5 years, Nancy (Idina Menzel), walks in on Robert and a towel-cladden Giselle, and then storms out angrily. Soon Giselle, in her fairytale way, sings an amazingly lovely song (oscar nominated “That’s how you know”) in Central Park, trying to help Robert express his feelings for Nancy.

The two begin to educate the other in a charming fashion as they get to know one another. Robert is a too-serious for his own good type of guy. He is a divorce lawyer and a single dad, and since his wife left him, has been raising Morgan to be realistic and survive in the world without getting lost in fairytales. So when the naive Giselle enters his world, commenting on true love and finding happiness in everything, Robert’s world is thrown into upheaval. Giselle has a cliche storybook romance view on love and life, and is forced to reconcile those beliefs with the cold realities of our own modern world. By the time she does experience sadness and anger, we’re both happy for her and her ability to grow, but also sad that she will never reclaim the lost innocence she had when the picture began. It echoes, in its way, the losing of our own innocence as we grow older, and because of that we identify with Giselle and long for the feelings she expresses and that we lost long ago.

As Robert and Giselle grow closer, Prince Edward has followed Giselle to NYC, along with commical chipmunk side-kick Pipp and Nathaniel, who is working on Narissa’s behalf to try and find Giselle first. Hilarity insues more or less everytime Edward is on screen, as James Marsden gives a truely inspired and honest performance. When he first arrives in Times Square he holds a city worker at sword-point and proclaims, “I seek a beautiful girl. My life partner, my one coquette, the answer to my love’s duet.” The worker responds honestly, echoing most of the audiences thoughts, “I’d like to find one of those too, you know?” It’s that level of honesty and sweetness throughout the movie that keeps you entranced, and well…”Enchanted” while watching it. Sure, Edward and Pipp add a great deal of humor to the movie, and the songs from Giselle are lovely, but the heart of the story is Giselle’s journey from bubble-headed Disney Princess to a young and inspired woman finding her one true love. The question becomes, who is it? Edward or Robert?

The film is most certainly not for everyone, but for those willing to get lost in spectacle and fantasy, “Enchanted” casts a lovely spell and is a truely marvelous experience. Amy Adams is so enduring, and adorable while watching it that your heart can’t help but go out to her. She is one of the more rewarding Disney heroines in many years. A remarkable film, and one well worth visiting over and over and over again.

2 thoughts on “A truely “Enchanted” experience.”

  1. A couple of my friends and I decided to watch this on our “Girls Night In.” I had such high expectations since I LOVE Grey’s Anatomy & Patrick Dempsey and I’m a big Disney fan. I had heard so many wonderful comments and I was soooooo pumped to see this movie. After the first hour, my friends and I turned it off because we were absolutely bored to tears. I kept waiting for it to get good….and for me….it just didn’t. Breaking out in to song and dance in Central Park was a bit over the top (I know…I know…it’s Disney and that’s what happens in Disney movies…but for this one it just didn’t work.)and it all just seemed so corny and cheesy. This is definitely in the top 10 of my biggest movie let-downs. :(

  2. A really good assessment of the film Enchanted. I believe that you are right in saying that it is a film that isn’t for everyone. Perhaps if it were a fully animated Disney movie, audiences would be more forgiving about its characters breaking out in song. However, breaking out in song in real life in New York’s Central Park may be a little far fletched for the more down to earth individual.

    Nonetheless, I throughly enjoyed watching this film as I grew up watching Disney 2D animations and since growing up and becoming more practical and wise about the realities of life.

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