Sunday, May 25, 2008


I finally caught up with Disney's Enchanted this afternoon. I had wanted to see it back in November, but considering I've been to the movies four times in 9 months, you can see that my priorities seem to have strayed from the silver screen. Anyway, thank goodness for these uber-quick DVD releases they do now. (Does anyone remember when they use to release VHS for rentals only for about six months before they sold them to the general public?)

The film was quite charming and highly amusing, stealthily irreverent with tongue in cheek. So much so, the old school ending seemed overly treacly as a result (the point at which the film loses steam is during the ballroom sequence, just prior to Susan Sarandon's homage to Maleficent). I enjoyed all the celebrations/send-ups of the Disney feature: Julie Andrews serving as the narrator, the old school animation (with includes the original Buena Vista logo used on the older Disney releases) to the more obscure, such as cameos from Paige O'Hara, Jodi Benson and Judy Kuhn (who's quip was one of the funniest lines in the film), also having fun with fairy tale conventions ("Happy Working Song" anyone?) The score was cute and served the project well - I only hope no one gets the brilliant idea of putting this onstage in two years, we've had enough of that. (The songs, with the exception of that awful warbled mess that they tried to pass off as a waltz in the ballroom scene, were pleasant. I'm still glad the kids from Once won the Academy award).

However, the main reason I wanted to see the film was Amy Adams. I've been a huge fan of hers since I happened upon the film Junebug back in 2005. Hers was the most memorable by a supporting actress that year; and was pleasantly surprised when she was nominated for her breakthrough turn as the naive but warm-hearted expecting sister-in-law. If you haven't seen the film, see it for her, she is remarkable. She also had a brief stint on The Office as an early love interest for Jim Halpert and was also Will Ferrell's amour in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. I would venture a guess she has gained considerable clout with her star-turn as Giselle here, with an amiable singing voice and that wholehearted likability working in her favor.
(She's Sister James opposite Meryl Streep's Aloysius in the upcoming film version of Doubt).

Certain things were pleasantly surprising: James Marsden as a musical theatre singer. I've only seen him in action movies (and I haven't seen Hairspray), so to hear him bust out in song was impressive. Not to mention how hilarious he was as the brazenly fantastical Prince Charming, particularly in his encounters with New Yorkers (and technology, his scene with the "magic mirror" aka TV is priceless). Patrick Dempsey was affable as the love interest. Idina Menzel was a wet mop as his irritating girlfriend (thankfully not singing).

On top of that, it was a virtual who's who of Broadway talent: Tonya Pinkins as the pending divorcee, the aforementioned Kuhn, O'Hara & Benson, Edmund Lyndeck (the original Judge Turpin) as the decrepit homeless man, Joseph Siravo (yay Piazza!) as the bartender, Helen Stenborg, and Harvey Evans were the people I recognized. I'm sure there were more.

Like I said, the only problem I really had was the final 20 minutes or so. They'd had fun with the cleverness up to that point, but as they reverted to the formulaic, the sense of fun in the film waned, as did my interest. But overall, a pleasant little picture from Disney.

1 comment:

Esther said...

I loved Amy Adams in "Junebug," and I really enjoyed "Enchanted," especially all the scenes of New York - Times Square, Central Park. The big dance routine in Central Park is tailor-made for a musical. I loved James Marsden, too.

For those of us who don't live nearby, it's nice to see the city up on the big screen.

BTW, I think Amy Adams and Meryl Streep will also be in "Julie and Julia," about a woman who blogged about working her way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."