We took the boys out to see Enchanted the other night. Originally, it looked to me like a movie the kids would enjoy and a movie that Gail would enjoy, but me, not so much. It did look kind of funny, and a clever idea, but I wasn’t too excited about seeing it. But the reviews I’ve seen online have been overwhelmingly positive, including a number of people who said that they didn’t expect to like this movie but did. So when Gail mentioned the idea of going to see it, I agreed. Bottom line: I loved it. The boys liked it, but I think Gail and I liked it even more. It was very funny, it was sweet, it had the beautiful Amy Adams for the guys and Patrick Dempsey for the girls, it had biting social commentary (well, not really), and best of all, the Disney people had fun making fun of themselves, and I like when big companies do that.
The story, in case you haven’t seen the commercials, is pretty clever — Giselle is an animated girl in an animated forest who lives with little animated forest creatures that talk to her and clean up her house and such, very Cinderella-like, while she waits for her prince to come and whisk her away to the castle to live happily ever after. The prince indeed comes, but his evil step-mother throws her down a pit, and she ends up in modern-day New York City. At this point the movie switches over to live-action, but the actors playing the formerly-animated characters keep their animated personalities, so it’s basically a fish-out-of-water kind of thing. Giselle talks about “love’s first kiss” and living happily ever after while Robert, the jaded divorce lawyer that she meets, tries to convince her that “happily ever after” doesn’t exist. At one point Giselle, while walking with Robert in public, attempts to break into song (as characters in Disney movies are wont to do), but an embarrassed Robert asks her to stop because in the real world, people just don’t do that. When she tries to clean up a messy apartment, she calls for the forest creatures to help her, as she did in her own place in the animated world, but of course in New York City, you don’t get sparrows and cute little mice, you get cockroaches and rats instead.
Adams does a fantastic job of playing an amalgam of Belle, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella, basically all the “Disney princesses” rolled up into one. All the songs she sings could have come from any Disney musical, except that the lyrics are much funnier than those in The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast.
This movie might convince you that “happily ever after” may not only happen in the fantasy world. But even if it doesn’t, it’s certainly a couple of hours worth of entertainment.