Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Directed by Kevin Lima.
2007. Rated PG, 107 minutes.
Patrick Dempsey
Rachel Covey
Idina Menzel

In what appears to be a stock, animated fairy-tale, a prince (Marsden) meets a fair maiden (Adams) in the woods and the two fall in love. This doesn't sit well with the prince’s evil witch of a mother (Sarandon) who banishes the bride-to-be to “the land where there are no happily ever afters.” That land would be live-action New York City.

It’s a simple premise, executed very well. Essentially, it’s a fish-out-of-water tale. In this case, the fish comes from a world we've all watched numerous times as kids and again when we ourselves have kids. To effectively tell its story it has to poke fun at itself and it does. The cast really helps in this department. Patrick Dempsey gives his normal bland performance. However, everyone around him is obviously hamming it up and having a great time doing so, including a wonderful turn by James Marsden as our prince. Not least of all in the ham department is Susan Sarandon as the evil witch. She just seems to be having a ball by running with the opportunity to overact on purpose. She and her cast-mates clearly convey the message this is a fairy-tale that knows fairy-tales are inherently preposterous. It’s not an all-out deconstruction of the genre like the original Shrek but it holds its own as a self-parody that’s smart enough to entertain adults. It’s also wacky enough, with plenty of songs to keep the kids into it.

Of course, on the flip side, it’s wacky enough, with plenty of songs to keep the kids into it. Let’s be honest, whenever Disney movies kick into Broadway show-tune mode plenty of adults would gladly murder a loved one if we knew that would make it stop. We just don’t for fear of being perceived as heartless menaces to the unrelenting joy being shoved down our throats. Anyhoo, I’m pretty sure my two daughters watched this movie 647 times in a three day span.

This one’s an easy call. If you have small kids, particularly girls, they will love this movie. All of you strange, creepy adults who are still huge Disney fans will probably enjoy this more than is healthy and should seek professional help. Just kiddin'. Sort of. Let's move on. Parents shouldn't mind this. It’s funny, smart enough for you to “get” and plenty of fun.

MY SCORE: 7.5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment