from Walt Disney Pictures
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Enchanted has got to be the obligatory date/family movie of the holiday weekend, which is interesting because date movies and family movies rarely overlap. But the romantic nature and fairy tale origin of this latest Disney tale will attract a wide array of audiences, and the nice thing is that it actually prevails in entertaining each demographic.
With the exception of a few unnecessary, off color references, this movie is about as squeaky clean as we've seen from any movie in quite some time, which is nice for a family movie considering some of the stuff that the Shrek movies and others have decided to insert into children's entertainment in the last few years. At the same time, this is a funny and very entertaining movie that will not bore or nauseate the older folks in the crowd.
While this wasn't really my choice for a movie, it still had a unique concept that peaked my interest. A Disney princess falls out of that perfect reality and into the harsh world of modern day new york, where her prince and chipmunk sidekick follow to try to find and rescue her. Amy Adams and James Marsden give top notch performances as Giselle and Prince Edward, respectively, completely enveloping the childlike innocence of classic Disney characters and reacting realistically to the real world. This is where most of the comedy comes from and it wouldn't have worked if the performances weren't as good as they were.
Patrick Dempsey plays Robert, a single father who is about to propose to his girlfriend of 5 years, Nancy. Through a string of events, he ends up taking in Giselle when he finds her lost in New York City, at the insistance of his daughter. Robert has a more negative (or realistic as he likes to think) outlook at love and his cold personality is the perfect spring board for Giselle's over top happiness.
Without giving too much more away, this movie does a great job at playing off these two realities and showing that neither of them is happy. I guess at the end of it all, in the midst of the children's movie full of fantasy sequence, even some hilarious song and dance sequences, we search these two extreme views of love and understand why both of them is unhealthy. Love will never be the fairy tale that Giselle thinks it is, and it can never be a science, although Robert treats it like one. Throughout the movie the different characters see the things that are missing from their view of love, whether it's romance or the practicality of just going on a date and getting to know each other.
Despite the few interesting thoughts you may run across, this is in the end, a children's movie, and has some over the top moments, especially towards the end when Susan Sarandon shows up in New York as Prince Edward's evil stepmother....and she looks hideous, might I add. But I do commend Disney on making a movie that is childlike without a ton of innapropriate references, while at the same time, not dumbing it down so much that no one else can enjoy it.