Review: Enchanted

Yes, it's over-the-top. Yes, it has plot holes you could drive a pumpkin carriage through. Yes, it's not IMPORTANT CINEMA.

So what?

This is a fun romp through fairy tale land (and into modern-day New York), complete with a wayward princess, overblown prince, and evil stepmother/witch. It's a mashup of every cliche from the Golden Age of Dinsey, right down to the poison apples. The premise Giselle is about to have her happily-ever-after in Fairy Tale Land (Andalasia), but the Prince's evil mother casts her down a well, delivering her to Times Square in New York.

Our hapless ingenue stumbles about and manages to run into Robert, a divorce attorney and his 6-year-old daughter, Morgan. Over the next 24 hours, many other characters from Andalasia follow, from Prince Edward, to the bungling Nathaniel, and finally the Queen herself (Susan Sarandon, chewing the scenery like she's having a good time).

I should really hate this film. It's a formulaic fish-out-of-water tale, where the main character learns something about herself. Think "The Pagemaster", in reverse. And there's singing. Lots of singing.

Still, two things enchanted me: First, Amy Adams was perfect. Vulnerable, sweet, and emotive, she carries every scene, and carries-off some impossible dialog:

Giselle: Now if only I can find a place to rest my head for the night.
Robert Philip: What kind of place?
Giselle: I don't know. Maybe a nearby meadow or a hollow tree.
Robert Philip: A hollow tree?
Giselle: Or a house full of dwarves. I hear they're very hospitable.

Any other actress couldn't resist being ironic or streewise (think smirking Drew Barrymore in "Ever After"). Adams is wholly in the part.

Also, the central question transfixed me: What's the nature of love? How does one discover and express a depth of emotion like True Love? I liked this particular film's answer to that age-old question: Sing it from the rafters!

Good date film, and great to see with kids, too.


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