Ella Enchanted

"OK"

Ella Enchanted Review


Ella Enchanted is a familiar fairytale: a young woman must overcome an extreme set of obstacles to land her prince charming. The telling of this mythical fable, based on the novel by Gail Carson Levine, is a cross between Ever After (or any other Cinderella story) and The Princess Bride. And while there are plenty of elves, ogres, giants and stepsisters to fill a forest of enchantment, the film's lack of originality cripples its attempts to be charming.

At birth, the young Ella (Anne Hathaway) is cursed with a spell that destines her to be obedient. At the drop of a command, she is forced to stop what she is doing and obey orders. Growing up, Ella's curse brings its share of problems, but when an older Ella gains a new stepmother (Joanna Lumley) and two stepsisters, they use Ella's curse to get what they want. They instruct Ella to steal from the local market, hand over her mother's precious locket, and terminate her friendship with an old friend. The stepsisters also have their sights on the soon-to-be-king Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy), but he fancies Ella. Charmont's uncle, Prince Regent Edgar (Cary Elwes), secretly covets the throne so he can continue the strict governance established by Charmont's father.

A frustrated Ella decides it's finally time to seek out the fairy godmother Lucinda (Vivica A. Fox) that saddled her with the nasty curse to begin withn. With the help of a magic book given to her by her house fairy Mandy (Minnie Driver), Ella sets out into the forest tracking Lucinda's movements. Why is she just now doing this 20-plus years after the curse? It's a little too convenient.

Along her journey, Ella rescues an elf that is tired of being treated like a second-class citizen relegated to tasks of tomfoolery and merrymaking. Later, Ella encounters a gang of hungry, oppressed, ass-crack-showing ogres whose hatred for humans drives their desire to eat Ella for lunch. Escaping that, Ella eventually makes it to a wild wedding reception where a group of enslaved, farm-working giants are celebrating everything but their freedom. And yet, no matter how hard the film tries, none of these characters Ella encounters are the least bit memorable or interesting like those in Bride.

The lack of character development is not limited to the forest creatures. Even Ella is superficially drawn and weak. She's given no real motivation or purpose other than relinquishing the curse and the associated ridicule. Early in the story, there are hints of her political aspirations, but these desires are ditched once her romance with the prince begins. Enchanted finishes with an ending that goes beyond ridiculous with its flying ninja guards and a final song and dance number (obviously lip-synched) to the tune of "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart."

Notwithstanding its unoriginality and the less-than-charismatic Cinderella-lite lead, Enchanted will still find some love with the young girls it targets. There are some amusing modern day references to shopping malls, paper recycling, and Botox. It has just enough wit and humor to make it to the Grand Ball, but in the end, this fairytale, to those who have seen better, is a clear disappointment.

The DVD is done-up Disney style with commentary track, deleted and extended scenes, plus various games and original featurettes.

Frodo lives!



Ella Enchanted

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th April 2004

Box Office USA: $22.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $27.4M

Budget: $31M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Miramax Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Fresh: 57 Rotten: 57

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Ella, as Char, as Edgar, as Slannen, as Dame Olga, as Hattie, Jennifer Higham as Olive, as Mandy, as Narrator, as Heston (voice), as Benny, Vivica A. Fox as Lucinda, as Areida

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.