Length: 107 minutes
Director: Kevin Liman (Tarzan; A Goofy Movie)
Writer: Bill Kelly (Blast From the Past; Premonition)
Starring: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon, Julie Andrews, Timothy Spall
It would be pretty hard not to like “Enchanted”. It’d be hard because you’d have to not to like Amy Adams in this movie and I think that would be impossible. It’s unfortunate that after all the pre-Oscar hype she got her performance here didn’t turn into a nomination- she deserved it. She carries the movie. Patrick Dempsey and James Marsden are both game, but neither have the charisma to take this premise and pull it off correctly. The movie opens with a clever spoof of Disney’s animated classics. Adams voices Giselle- the innocent princess to be and Marsden voices her soon to be prince. They meet and fall instantly in love and plan to marry (all in two days). The prince’s evil stepmother (Susan Sarandon) fears Giselle will take over her position as queen and banishes Giselle to modern day New York. No longer animated, but still stuck in the mind set of an animated movie, she is unleashed on the public. There’s some funny “fish out water” sequences that Adams really makes work (imagine someone like Cameron Diaz doing some of the same things and you would have had some problems). She meets a lawyer named Robert (Dempsey) who brings her home to stay with his daughter (Rachel Covey). He thinks she might be mentally ill, but he doesn’t have the heart to leave her out in the street. Meanwhile, Prince Edward has traveled to New York to find his lost love. See how tricky this might have been if it had fallen into the wrong hands? Director Kevin Liman (director of two Disney animated features) knows how to present the jokes in such a loving manner that the spoofs are just as much tributes to the movies themselves. Giselle uses her singing abilities in the cartoon world to have animals clean and dress her and she finds she has the same powers in the real world, but with New York sewer rats and pigeons instead. The romance angle that develops between Adams and Dempsey is obvious, but I like the way the film handled it. There’s a pretty great sequence where Dempsey explains what a date is to Adams. She just loves the Prince. She’s never even taken to thought that they might not have anything in common. Things wrap up about as cheerfully as possible. It gets pretty sugary, but as my girlfriend put it- “that’s the point”.