A friend of mine described this movie as ‘saccharin sweet’. I couldn’t agree more.
It’s an absolute modern day Disney revival motion picture with a stab at its past. And the cues are so obvious you’d be smiling with glee at every identifiable scene or song that joggles your memory. And there are many actually.
I’m guessing Disney is happy they employed Kevin Lima to helm this movie as he has managed to capture the subtleties which are Disney trademarks; the tunes (courtesy of the great Alan Menken), the art direction and the scripting. I won’t need to go into what this movie is about as you can read about it at their official website. Safe to say it’s about a typical Disney princess wishing for love, her typical dashing prince rescuing his beloved, a typical New York lawyer looking for love and the indispensible wicked witch. With a dash of reality.
That’s where things get interesting; that dash of reality brings all you’ve experienced before in Snow White, Little Mermaid and Beauty & the Beast into the real world. And there’s nothing typical Disney about that. For example, Giselle’s entry to New York City via the manhole in the middle of Times Square is a hallmark of imaginative storytelling.
The storyline, however magical and fairyesque, is entertaining. It manages to weave that Disney magic at every turn and I can’t imagine anyone watching not grinning at some point. The way the actors voice their characters are so Disney. Amy Adams (Giselle) and James Marsden (Prince Edward) must have had voice training for being able to do what they do. And the music, oh so Disney too. There’s a bit of Ariel in there and it’s quite obvious. There aren’t many songs in the movie but they are indeed memorable, especially That’s How You Know. Set in Central Park, the choreography is quite good (although nothing compared to the Bollywood flicks) and the set pieces beautiful. It’s also reported to be the most challenging due to crowd control and weather conditions.
Having said all that I must say I’m kind of dissapointed with the rendition of the wicked witch. Nothing to do with Susan Sarandon’s acting; I feel her character is cheesy enough to be one of Disney’s all time great villainess. But more in the way the ending was crafted with all the melodrama (her exact words actually) and needless CGI. A bit naff and OTT I think.
All in all an entertaining movie for the family to watch, especially for women of all ages and Disney fans alike. A fairytale feel good movie and I personally have no qualms to recommend it as one of the must watch movies for 2007.