Review: Enchanted Isn't Bewitching, Though It Is Charming

Enchanted is undeniably cute. It's also a great concept, and if it hadn't played down to the kiddies near the tail end of the film it would have been one for the ages. What we end up with is a movie that won't completely annoy adult viewers while enthralling anyone under double digits. You could do much worse. Heck, I'd wager you have.

The story, to distill it to its most simple form, is a fairy tale turned real life. Enchanted starts as an animation and then turns into a live action film. Though it could have been horribly gimmicky, it comes off as fairly fresh. Amy Adams is the voice of Giselle and then the actual Giselle in New York City. She's a fair maiden, ready for marriage with her one true love, the prince. Unfortunately she's fooled by the evil queen/stepmother type (Susan Sarandon) and thrust in to real life. That's where the story picks up momentum and it's also where I'll end your synopsis portion of this review.

What works for Enchanted is Amy Adams. In a big way. She's been getting Oscar buzz, unheard of for a film of frivolity such as this. She's grand though, in full cartoon voice and resplendent with her batted eyes and doting personage. She's like Cinderella and Snow White come to full life. She sings on cue and she thinks everyone deserves that one special kiss. You can't help but fall in love with her as the film progresses. She's befriended by Patrick Dempsey of Grey's Anatomywho is adequate, though really nothing special.

The only knock I can offer up is the movie does turn on the cheese factor full blast in the final fifteen minutes. While Enchanted is happy to poke a little fun at the Disney classics throughout the rest of the film, it finally gives in and becomes everything it was smirking at around the culmination. That's fine though, I get why they had to go that route, to do a truly sarcastic version of Disney would have cost the mouse house plenty of box office revenue and a few jobs. So they caved. Fair enough. These things happen.

I don't think this is quite a date night; though if you're on the lower end of the age spectrum perhaps it would suffice. It's a romantic comedy for kids really, as odd as that sounds. If you have a family and want something silly and harmless than this is your holiday ticket. Far smarter and better executed than something putrid like Fred Claus, this one is a worthy theater experience. It won't change your life but it won't ruin your day either. Perhaps, in the finest of all worlds, it will get your little one to dream big. That would be quite a bargain for eight bucks, right?

Grade: B