Review Date: April 24, 2008
Director: Kevin Lima
Writer: Bill Kelly
Producers: Barry Josephson, Barry Sonnenfeld
Amy Adams as Giselle
Patrick Dempsey as Robert
James Marsden as Prince Edward
And speaking of which, allow me to focus directly on half of that lead couple right now in Amy Adams. I fell for Adams after she guest-starred in a few episodes of TV’s “The Office”, and solidified that infatuation with her small role in TALLADEGA NIGHTS, but it’s with this film that the world will get to know her as the adorable, bubbly and lovely actress that she is, taking the role of the princess-to-be in this film and really making you like her…like a lot! Patrick Dempsey also has to be commended for taking a straight-man role and adding a little emotion to it. I appreciated the cutesy romance between the two, especially all of those kooky “fish out of water” stuff, which both of them made work very well. Add that to a very creative way of integrating an animated fairy tale into a modern day New York City (and a powerful diss against all of the day-to-day cynicism that many people have adopted), some fun secondary characters and a handful of catchy tunes, and by golly, the film zips by with a breezy sense of delight and cheer. Sure, nobody is gonna win an Oscar for this movie (although 3 of its songs were actually nominated for some), but if your girlfriend is sick of you forcing her to watch the STAR WARS trilogy all over again – or anything with the name Scorsese or Tarantino on it – I honestly think this is a fun enough movie to consider for an “Okay, it’s your turn to pick a movie that we watch tonight” evening.
Sure, not all of it works perfectly, with a scene featuring a ton of New Yorkites singing/dancing along with Adams in Central Park seeming a little “weird” and a massive CGI dragon also not gelling too well with the rest of the film’s construction, but there is a lot of cuteness in the movie and I think that for anyone who is a fan of the classic Disney animated gems, there are also plenty of winks, nods and cameos to entertain you, even if you don’t think the romance or “Amy Adams being adorable” is enough for you to rent this fluff-piece. Sadly though, if I know “modern day Disney” well (and I think I do), they’re gonna milk the shit out of the success of this movie to the point that all follow-ups will become as mediocre as much of their other recent crap (Pixar stuff excluded, of course). That said, I actually wouldn’t mind another “live action animated” flick which plays with the old classics and mixes them into our modern day world, but I think we all know that the big bad studio is gonna bang them out like cheap whores, to the point that we’ll all be wondering what we liked about them in the first place. Yes, I’m cynical vis-à-vis Disney…ironic, no? Hopefully, I’m wrong. But until all that goes down, rent this flick with your chick or your kids (or both!!) and be prepared to reap the rewards of that very choice.