Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) is a fairytale princess about to be married to Prince Edward (James Marsden). But the evil queen (Susan Sarandon) thrusts her from her fantasy world to present day New York City, where she meets Robert (Patrick Dempsey), a handsome lawyer, who lives with his young daughter Morgan (Rachel Covey). Giselle quickly discovers that the reality of life and love are quite different from what she imagined. But in order to make her dreams come true, she needs to avoid the poisoned apple with which the queen's henchman Nathanial (Timothy Spall) is trying to tempt her and avoid the wicked queen.
Review by Louise Keller:
If Enchanted had been made 40 years ago, chances are Julie Andrews would have been cast as the singing fairytale Princess Giselle who spends her time searching for the most powerful thing in the world - her true love's kiss. Songbird Amy Adams, who in many ways is reminiscent of a young Andrews with an appealing innocent sweetness, plays Giselle and it is apt that Ms Andrews' voice is the first one we hear, setting the tone as narrator. While Who Killed Roger Rabbit gets my vote as the most original, complete marriage between live action and animation, Enchanted uses an inventive story concept to weave the two together. Here the transition from animation to live action in part breaks the cinematic spell; it is difficult to take the leap from being involved with traditionally drawn animated characters that suddenly become flesh and blood in a contemporary setting. Nonetheless, this is a charming family-friendly film complete with a beautiful music score, hummable tunes and some incongruously delightful moments that intertwine modern day New York City with out-of-place fantasy characters.
The film begins with an animated sequence in a magic forest with a long-tressed red-haired princess surrounded by bluebirds, roses and hearts, a prince on a white steed and a scheming wicked queen. When the lovely Giselle in her silk wedding gown falls into the well, she is the animated figment of an artist's imagination, but by the time she climbs from a man hole in New York's Time Square, she is flesh and blood. Adams' Giselle looks strangely out of place among the colourful contemporary billboards for Mama Mia, Wicked and Hairspray, and the script wobbles somewhat as Giselle is befriended by charismatic Patrick Dempsey's single father Robert. In another Julie Andrews moment, nimble-fingered Giselle chops up Robert's curtains and carpet to create a fetching wardrobe.
I enjoyed the scenes in Central Park when Giselle and Robert get to know each other, and Timothy Spall is terrific as Nathanial, the wicked queen's henchman, sent to administer the sting from a poisoned apple. He talks to his queen through apparitions in huge pots of soup and a martini glass ('Hello Worthless,' she snarls back), and by the time the formidable Susan Sarandon makes her splashy screen appearance in Times Square, looking as though she has walked off the stage of Wicked (with added attitude from the Rocky Horror Show), we are more than ready for her. James Marsden's Prince Edward is suitably soppy (he sings well, too) and the juxtaposition of fairy-tale fantasy with modern day language is nicely played.
Enchanted is a sweetly uplifting happily-ever-after romantic fantasy the whole family can share.
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KEVIN LIMA INTERVIEW
CAST: Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Rachel Covey,Idina Menzel
NARRATION: Julie Andrews
PRODUCER: Barry Josephson, Barry Sonnenfeld
DIRECTOR: Kevin Lima
SCRIPT: Bill Kelly
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Don Burgess
EDITOR: Gregory Perler, Stephen A. Rotter
MUSIC: Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Stuart Wurtzel
RUNNING TIME: 107 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 26, 2007