Monday, April 21, 2008

Enchanting Enchanted

Did every critic and movie blogger use this same title for their review of “Enchanted”?

Many people who know my taste in movies will be shocked to hear how much I adored this one. Normally I disdain films that are so sweet I need to make a dentist appointment after viewing them. So kudos to director Kevin Lima and writer Bill Kelly who obviously share a warm affection for Disney movies yet are not afraid to tweak the iconic images. And apparently, if you get the Blu-ray version you can see all of the references to old animated films (the DVD version has a shorter showcase in the bonus features).

The film is perfectly cast: Amy Adams is wonderful and sweet and you just want to scoop her up and take her home with you. She ably portrays a displaced princess who – almost against her will - is enlightened (go feminism!) by her association with Patrick Dempsey’s Robert, a commitment-phobic divorce attorney, and his adorable princess-loving daughter. James Marsden, late of the fantastic “Hairspray” remake and one of the “X-Men,” is perfect as Giselle’s handsome yet egocentric prince Edward. And it goes without saying that Susan Sarandon is flippin’ amazin’ as the evil queen (the only other person I might have liked to have seen in this role is Meryl Streep, whom I also love).

Btw, did anyone else see the resemblance between Amy Adams and Jenna Fisher (Pam in The Office)? They could be movie sisters.

I was charmed by Amy’s singing and dancing and by the film’s adherence to animation conventions (by far, the best scene in the film was the CG-enhanced whistle-while-you-work type song-and-dance of cleaning pigeons and sweeping rats and scrubbrush cockroachs). But what really sold the film for me was how the filmmakers turned the “happily ever after” convention on its ear: the princess’ true love revealed itself in a way I did not expect!

Most surprising of all is the the “strong woman” message. It’s not so overbearing that it scares the younger “don’t call me a feminist” teen demographic and it’s not offensive to us real feminists who wish filmmakers wouldn’t use it as a thin veneer to disguise their actual “someday my prince will come” message.

I think all Vees would dig this film.