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Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Susan Sarandon, Idina Menzel, Julie Andrews, Michaela Conlin, Paige O'Hara, Samantha Ivers, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Judy Kuhn, Gregory Jbara, John Rothman, Matt Servitto, Joseph Siravo, Kenny Shapiro, Vicky Lambert, Franco Bulaon, Kenzi Grelle, Peter Samuel, Canedy Knowles, Lou Brock, Luis Salgado, Daniel Mastrogiorgio, Ted Yudain, Andrea Castro, Tara Stiles, Brian d'Arcy James, Linda Kerns, Elizabeth Mathis, Ann Arvia, Rachel Covey, Nell Mooney, Mic Thompson, Snow Urbin, Thelma Gutiérrez, Cathleen Trigg, Emanuele Ancorini, Anita Keal, Oscar Campisi, Paul Klementowicz, Nancy de Zutter, Paul Frolov, Bobbi Page, Aaron Hamilton, Tim Blevins, Kater Gordon, Marguerite Willbanks, Cynthia Henn, Ingrid Gartner, Rachel Whitman, Crosby Selander, Robert Bartley, Tommy Berklund, Richard McMurrich, Violetta Klimczewska, Lashette Showers, Ann Arvia
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|Movie Review by Matthew |
December 13th, 2007
Very Enchanting But Not Great
"Enchanted", the new film from Disney, featuring a mix of live action and animation, is almost the perfect entertainment for your family this holiday season. A tongue-in-cheek look at the rich history of animation at the studio combines with an over-the-top live action musical set in New York to create a film just about everyone in your family should enjoy.
Giselle (Amy Adams, "Junebug") is the quintessential Disney heroine. She lives in a quaint cottage in the forest and sings to her animal friends as she dreams of the prince she will one day meet. As she dreams of this man, making a mannequin of him, Prince Edward (James Marsden, "X-Men"), the quintessential Disney hero, gallops through the forest hunting trolls, with his sidekick Nathaniel (Timothy Spall) close at hand. The two meet and this instantly causes the wicked Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon), who is, you guessed it, the quintessential Disney villain, to become concerned she might lose control of her kingdom, Andalasia. As Edward's step-mother, she would lose her throne as soon as he marries his one true love. She disguises herself as an old crone and lures Giselle to a wishing well. The queen pushes the young lady in and Giselle falls through before finding herself in New York City. Soon, the Prince learns his one-true love is gone and follows her. In New York, Giselle meets Robert Phillip (Patrick Dempsey), a divorce attorney and single dad of Morgan (Rachel Covey). Morgan, is, of course, captivated by a real-life princess. (Disney Marketing Team alert: Add Giselle to the Disney Princess Line of merchandise!!!!) Robert is more skeptical. Giselle ends up staying with them as Robert tries to help her get back to her country. This makes his long-time fiancée, Nancy (Idina Menzel, Broadway's "Wicked") nervous about their relationship. Queen Narissa becomes concerned about Giselle's whereabouts and sends her henchman, Nathaniel back to New York as well. Unhappy with the progress, she soon decides to go to the Big Apple and take matters into her own hands.
Directed by Kevin Lima ("Tarzan"), "Enchanted" is a fun film to watch, but it isn't one of the best films you will ever see. Then again, it isn't one of the worst either. As the film progresses, the quality of the story and the acting become a little uneven, marring the quality a bit.
The film begins in the animated world of Andalasia. Everything in this portion of the film is pitch perfect. From our initial encounter with Giselle, as she sings to the animals in a very "Snow White" like sequence, to the first appearance of the incredibly handsome Prince Edward, who spends every waking moment hunting trolls, the tone and feel of classic Disney animation is captured and presented in a way to poke light fun at it. As soon as the two meet, they decide to marry. The next day. Giselle makes her own dress with the help of her forest friends and arrives in a very- Cinderella like coach. The animation is also very nice and compliments the tone of these segments very well. You almost forget the film will soon thrust us into modern-day New York, leaving this world behind.
As soon as Giselle arrives in Times Square, she takes on the looks of Amy Adams. Adams appeared in "June Bug", an independent film released a few years ago. In that film, a very pregnant Adams stole the show as Benjamin McKenzie's (who? He was the star of TV's "The O.C.") pregnant wife. It was a delightful performance and she continues to show that quality in Giselle. As the princess-to-be stuck in New York, she has a wide-eyed innocence perfectly capturing the naivety of an animated princess. Living in an insular world, she naturally assumes New York is just like Andalasia. She doesn't understand that it isn't and doesn't understand why it can't be, so she is determined to bring her Andalasia way of thinking to the mean, gritty streets of New York.
It is a funny, delightful and perfect performance for the role.
In New York, she meets Robert (Dempsey). As Robert is an adult living in the real world, he doesn't have the same misconceptions about life in New York and is very reluctant to enter Giselle's dream world. Robert eventually has enough of Giselle's fantasies, washes his hands of her, and sends her on her way in Central Park. He quickly realizes she will never make it on her own and rejoins her. As they walk through Central Park, Giselle quickly attracts a following and they break out into song, using the sounds and rhythms of New York, the group cavorts throughout the park. Throughout, Dempsey has to remain skeptical, but at the same time show some emotion, any emotion, to make his character human, so it is a strange performance. It is difficult to see the shades of gray (no pun intended) in his performance. He is either smitten with Giselle's innocence, or determined to maintain his steely New York reserve.
It won't fit. Please read the full review at thornhillatthemovies.com
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