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"Enchanted" charms audiences: This fairy tale parody takes a new spin on DisneyThursday, May 01, 2008 By Claire Grandi
A beautiful damsel looks for her prince to rescue her from distress — in the magical kingdom of New York City. A cartoon Giselle (Amy Adams) is searching for her one true love to share one true love's kiss. After seeing him in a dream, she knows he is out there somewhere. She falls (literally) into the arms of Prince Edward (James Marsden). The audience later learns that falling is quite a habit of hers. As with all fairy tales, the happy couple must be married before sharing that special kiss. But evil Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) — the prince's stepmother — wants to keep Giselle from stealing her queenly crown. Just before the "I do's," Giselle gets a little nudge that sends her to a land where happily ever afters are hard to find. Instead of falling down a rabbit hole, Giselle falls up and through a manhole into the bustling live-action streets of Time Square. Clad in her enormous, frilly (and increasingly dirty) wedding dress, the lovely maiden begins her journey toward becoming a real live woman. After wandering the dark and rainy streets, Giselle falls off a castle-shaped billboard in the arms of Robert Phillip (Patrick Dempsey), a single dad and divorce attorney who no longer believes in true love. He and his sad-eyed daughter take the damsel home to their untidy apartment which Giselle cleans with the help of cockroaches scouring the soap scum off the bathtub and sewer rats doing dishes and doing laundry. Amy Adams (Junebug, Talladega Nights) gives a wonderful and unspoiled performance, she steps right into the sugary-sweet roll with no reservations. Patrick Dempsey (“Freedom Writers,” “Grey's Anatomy” [TV]) gives a serious sad-eyed performance that brings the movie down to Earth and gives it more depth than your average Disney fairy tale. Susan Sarandon (“Thelma & Louise,” “Dead Man Walking”) gives an over-the-top performance, both in an animated and in live action form, though her evilness is more enjoyable when animated. Director Kevin Lima (“Tarzan,” ’” Goofy Movie”), a Disney veteran, balances fairy tale traditions with a modern twist. He sneaks in bits and pieces from Disney's past, including such animated classics as “Alice in Wonderland,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Cinderella,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast,” just to name a few. The creative script provides fun for all ages, not just kids. With plenty of cameos and sly jokes, this is one movie parents won't mind seeing endlessly popped into the DVD player. The lighthearted soundtrack includes songs you will want to listen to over and over. The music is contemporary — especially the calypso ballad sung by just about everyone in Central Park — but stayed true to Disney's classic fairy tale traditions. This is a great movie to watch with a crowd of youngsters — the slapstick of a bumbling bad guy and saucy chipmunk will kids laughing. It can also be romantic, silly fun with a group of friends. And you'll never guess who ends up wearing the glass slipper.