Yes, well, went to see Enchanted last weekend. Admittedly, part of the attraction was to catch Patrick Dempsey in a frivolous role. However, it turned out be an afternoon suprisingly well spent, with plenty of laughs and a bit to think about as well.
The film flits between the animated fairytale kingdom of Andalasia and reality as we know it. The evil queen — I didn’t catch her name, but Susan Sarandon was very evil in the role — wants to keep her (total air-head) stepson from marrying so that she may keep her throne and title. So when Prince Edward meets Giselle, your typical dancing-with-animals fairytale-country girl, and falls in love with her, she hatches a cunning plot.
Giselle is dispatched into the “real” world, where she literally lands in the lap of divorce lawyer Robert (Dempsey). A single parent raising a six-year-old after his wife abandoned them, Robert tackles life with a heavy dose of cynicism, wanting to make it clear to his daughter that there are no happily-ever-afters.
But as Giselle blunders into their life, singing and dancing, cooing and squealing — very annoying in the beginning, but later on the humour takes over — McDreamy… er, Robert… at first thinks she is a little nuts. Despite finding her frolicking with rats and pigeons, and having to put up with her making clothes out of his curtains and rugs, he slowly finds himself falling under her spell.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward, in search of his beloved, pops out of the manhole from fairyland as well. He is followed by the wicked queen’s lackey, Nathaniel (Timothy Spall, Wormtail in the Harry Potter movies), and one of Giselle’s little chipmunk friends, Pip, who seems to have more brains than the rest of them put together. Stitch in some poisoned apples, glass slippers, a ball, a dragon, a wicked witch, “true love’s kiss” and what have you, and Enchanted makes for a thoroughly entertaining movie.
Stereotypes are reversed as Robert is carried off by a dragon in the movie’s climax and Giselle rushes to his rescue, complete with sword in hand. And while Prince Edward is a total “blond” in many ways, he seems to have a fairly good idea what to do when he finds a lone glass slipper on the dance floor.
Even though Enchanted is basically a children’s movie, it does have a lesson for all of us. There may be no happily-ever-afters, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a bit of magic in our lives.