MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Amy Adams as GISELLE
Patrick Dempsey as ROBEERT PHILIP
James Marsden as PRINCE EDWARD
Timothy Spall as NATHANIEL
Idina Menzel as NANCY TREMAINE
Susan Sarandon as QUEEN NARISSA
Directed by: Kevin Lima
BY KEVIN CARR
Recently, there have been a lot of twisted fairy tales hitting the big screen. The obvious ones are the “Shrek” films, but there have been plenty of others, including “Ella Enchanted,” “Hoodwinked” and “Happily N’ever After.”
Some of these have been good. Others have been bad. Whichever the case, I thought I was done with them. Then “Enchanted” came out at the end of last year. While it looked decent, I was worried because the gene pool for these films had gotten pretty shallow. However, when I finally saw the film, I was completely wrapped up in the magic of the whole thing.
“Enchanted” is Disney’s love letter to itself and its fans. It starts off in the animated fairy tale land of Andalasia with Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) searching for her true love. The charming Prince Edward (James Marsden) comes along, and it’s love at first sight. However, Edward’s mother is none too happy about a possible new queen, so she banishes Giselle into the real world.
Here’s where the story really starts. Amy Adams brings the Disney princess to live perfectly as she struggles to deal with the challenges of New York City. She befriends a divorce mediator named Robert (Patrick Dempsey), who is struggling with the challenges of being a single dad. Soon, Giselle starts to learn the ways of the real world, and her future in Andalasia is in jeopardy.
It is rare for me to use a term like “magical” to describe a film, but this movie deserves it. The somewhat used premise rides on Amy Adams’ shoulders, and she manages a perfect mix of doey-eyed cheesiness and true empathy. And James Marsden really steals the show as the corny prince.
Any fan of the Disney films should love this movie, if not for the good-natured introspective ribbing, but also for the ridiculous number of in-jokes throughout the film. As a family film, this movie works perfectly. There’s plenty in there for the kids, and there’s also so many jokes for parents. Even though it’s basically a modern princess story, there’s also a lot for the boys to like. In fact, my four-year-old son demanded to watch it over and over again. I don’t know a better endorsement for a cross-generational and cross-gender family film than that.
The DVD comes with a selection of deleted scenes and on-set bloopers. There are also three short featurettes describing how the larger musical numbers and effects shots were achieved. Finally, for the younger viewers, there is a virtual pop-up story following Pip the talking chipmunk.