Since the Bears weren’t playing today, my husband and I decided to head out to the theater to catch a matinée. We didn’t have a particular movie in mind; we just agreed to see whatever was starting within 10 minutes of our arrival. That turned out to be Enchanted, the romantic comedy from Disney and the top box-office earner for the past two weeks. This wasn’t a movie that I was interested in seeing based on the promos, but it turned out to be pretty decent.
Plot summary (with possible spoilers): The film opens in an animated land called Andalasia, where a beautiful young woman named Giselle (played by Amy Adams) does the sort of things you’d expect from a typical Disney fairy tale character. She sings, converses with animals, and of course dreams of meeting a Prince someday so they can fall in love and live happily ever after.
That day comes when Giselle crosses paths with Prince Edward (James Marsden), who manages to rescue Giselle from an ugly ogre. The two fall in love instantly, and make plans for an immediate wedding. However, things go wrong when Prince Edward’s mother, Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon), disguises herself as an old woman and pushes Giselle through a magic portal that takes her to a place far away from Andalasia. Giselle then emerges through a manhole cover — in the middle of New York City! She is now in human form, but retains the clothes, mannerisms, and speaking style of her animated self.
Giselle has no clue where she is, so she starts looking around for Prince Edward’s castle. She sees a picture of a castle on a billboard, and climbs up to it to try to enter. At this point, she’s spotted by a little girl named Morgan (Rachel Covey), who’s riding in a cab with her father Robert (Patrick Dempsey). Morgan jumps out of the cab to go see the princess, and Robert bolts out behind her to make sure his daughter stays safe. After hearing Giselle’s explanation of what she’s doing up there, Robert thinks she’s a bit loopy, and is reluctant to leave her alone so he brings her back to his apartment.
The rest of the film then becomes a typical fish-out-of-water story that shows how Giselle just doesn’t fit in with modern life in New York City. We see Prince Edward’s attempts to rescue Giselle to bring her back to Andalasia, as well as a blossoming romance between Giselle and Robert. Plus, we get the “happily ever after” ending that you’d expect from a film like this.
My Reaction: I was surprised at how entertained I was by Enchanted. This is certainly not the type of movie that I generally like, so I was a bit skeptical about how well I would receive it. But the story was interesting, the plot moved along at a decent pace, and the crowd in the theater was enthusiastic, which greatly enhanced my viewing experience. It’s hard not to get swept up in a movie when everyone else around you is laughing at the jokes.
It was also a lot of fun picking out the various Disney references that were placed (or voiced) throughout the film. This is the kind of thing that could get annoying after a while, but since there wasn’t a whole lot of attention called to the references, I found them tolerable.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Amy Adams in anything before, but thought she was wonderful as Giselle here. This was obviously a critical role, and a bad casting decision could very easily have ruined the film. But Adams was extremely likable, so it was fun rooting for her.
Patrick Dempsey, on the other hand, seemed to be a poor choice for the leading man. I watch him on Grey’s Anatomy every week, and think he’s fine for a TV show, but he just doesn’t have the acting chops to be a lead on the big screen. Plus, I don’t find him very attractive at all, so I didn’t swoon over the whole “true love’s first kiss” thing like I was supposed to. Ugh.
Overall, I thought Enchanted was a fun film that was nice to see during this holiday season. I give it 4 stars out of 5, and recommend that you catch it while it’s still in theaters!