Enchanted


Directed by: Kevin Lima
Written by:Bill Kelly
Starring: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon, Timothy Spall, Nancy Tremaine
Released: December 24, 2007
Grade: A-

I like the idea for this movie.  Animation meets reality.  Giselle (Adams) has just met the man of her dreams, Prince Edward (Marsden), in an animated fantasy land known as Andalasia.  They share a kiss and she realises that he is her one true love.  They are to be married the next day.

This doesn’t sit well with Edward’s mother, Queen Narissa (Sarandon).  She’s not prepared to give up her crown to the bubbly Giselle.  Using her powerful magic, she throws Giselle down a wishing well.  It transports her into the real human world.  Giselle pops out from under a manhole cover and finds herself in the centre of New York City.

Wearing a crown and a huge white wedding dress, Giselle’s appearance makes an impression.  She stands out like a sore thumb.  People look at her like she’s some weirdo.  It gets even worse when she starts asking for directions back to the castle.  Giselle is in way over her head.

A twist of fate will see her fall into the arms of a lawyer named Robert (Dempsey).  He too is confused by her story but feels a little sympathetic.  With some encouragement from his young daughter, Nancy (Menzel), Robert lets Giselle stay the night at his apartment.  The next morning, he tries to help Giselle find a way home.

It’s a little more complicated than that.  On learning that this bride-to-be had fallen down the well, Prince Edward (Marsden) took the plunge.  He too is now in the human world and is looking to rescue Giselle.  To ensure that this doesn’t happen, the Queen has sent one of her loyal henchman (Spall) to get to her first.  The plan is to get Giselle to eat a poison apple.

Enchanted has a lot to offer.  When I saw the trailer, it came across as G-rated family flick which was targeted at young kids.  Whilst that statement is true (in hindsight), I think this film will appeal to romantics of any age.  I don’t want to give too much away in this regard but the response from some of the female audience members at my screening told me that their hearts had been won over.

The key to the whole movie is the performance of Amy Adams as Giselle.  She’s terrific!  Her naive innocence makes her both funny and likeable.  Some have been tipping that a second Oscar nomination (following her 2006 nom for Junebug) is just around the corner.  Just as good is Patrick Dempsey as Robert.  His performance is a lot more subdued but it’s just what is required.  He’s just an ordinary guy trying to make sense of a very strange situation.

Whilst I think the script could have been a little tighter (there were a few too many plot holes for me), Enchanted is a light-hearted adventure receiving a well timed release over the Christmas break.  I think you’re going to like it.