Ella Enchanted

"Weak"

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

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...

Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool Movie Review

Both the filmmakers and the characters on-screen are so pleased with themselves that this might...

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

Advertisement
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

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.