Saturday, December 01, 2007


As cute, fluffy and harmless as this Dinsey picture appears, Enchanted should come with a government warning. It's the ultimate Anti-Date movie.

Because the whole premise behind this enchanting family flick is that you shouldn't be satisfied with the one you're with - there's always a more charming prince waiting to steal your heart away.

More than one couple might enter the theatre thinking of nothing but each other - but they'll leave wondering if they're destined to be with somebody who doesn't chew popcorn quite so loudly.

But romantic concerns aside, Enchanted lives up to it's name - a really sterling product from Disney.

Part of the appeal is how Enchanted turns the Disney formula on it's head. The opening scenes of the movie are set in a beautiful enchanted forest, animated in exactly the same style as Disney's most famous work, Snow White.

And it's the 'baddie' from Snow White, Queen Narissa, who rains on the parade this time as well, casting niave young heroine Giselle down a well into 'another world' to prevent her from marrying Narissa's stepson, Prince Edward.

I remember my father telling me that the first movie he'd ever seen in the cinema was the original Snow White - and that the evil Narissa had terrified him as a small boy. Well, she's up to her old tricks again and when she explodes onto the screen, even not-so-little boys are quite startled!

Giselle tumbles out of her blissful animated world and lands slap-bang in the middle of Times Square, New York. Now she's no longer a beautiful animated princess. She's a 'real' person.

It's actress Amy Adams who voices and plays Giselle - and we see New York through her astonished eyes. She's sweet, bright, optomistic and charming and as she interacts with 'real' New Yorkers, she injects some fairy tale magic into all their lives.

Meeting with astonished lawyer Robert, played by Patrick Dempsey, Giselle struggles to find a way home - but instead learns that New Yorkers have a different kind of 'happily ever after.' Perhaps brave Edward, who follows Giselle into this daunting 'other world' on a hapless rescue mission, isn't the Prince Charming she'd imagined him to be.

Filled with wonderful songs - like a breathtaking musical number in Central Park - and filled with humour and cuteness, Enchanted hits it's target square and true.

There are a couple of bits that are a little too commercialised for my tastes (like when Robert's six-year old daughter steals Daddy's credit card and takes Giselle out on a 'shopping montage' down Fifth Avenue) but for the most part Enchanted delivers everything you'd expect from a Disney film and expands on it.

The highlight has to be when Giselle calls her 'woodland friends' to help her clean up Robert's apartment - and instead of bunnies and chipmunks, New York delivers an army of coreographed rats, pigeons and cockroaches.

It's not high brow. It's not deep. In fact, it's nothing but what you see on the movie poster. But it's immensely satisfying and enjoyable and I think it's been one of the most solid movies of 2007.

Only don't go and watch it with your girlfriend.

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