Disney Movie + McDreamy = good? How the hell did that happen?
Illustration by Evan Keeling
I am not made of stone, folks*. I am human, and I have feelings. If you cut me, I bleed. If you feed me whiskey, I turn into Superman, because whiskey is my phonebooth. If you take out your boobs and dance in front of me, I will give you crisply folded dollar bills. And, if you show me a heartwarming feel-good Disney movie, I will like it.
*The few people I have told about my assignment to see Enchanted this week seemed to delight in the fact that I would have to see a Disney film. They seemed to think I would be going through an hour and a half of pure torture. What exactly does this say about my friends?
And this is exactly what Enchanted is, a well-made, fairly clever, feel-good Disney movie. The premise is as follows: An animated princess named Giselle (Amy Adams) is sent to the Real World** by an evil Witch Queen (Susan Sarandon). She meets that dude McDreamy*** (Patrick Dempsey) who helps her out while her True Love, Prince Edward (James Marsden) follows her to NYC in order to save this damsel in distress. What do you have? A pretty standard plotline, but the writer offers us some clever enough twists along the way to make it interesting.
**not the show the Real World. Although the idea of a fairy princess getting drunk and having threeways on an MTV reality show is something I believe needs to be explored.
***This is easily the most awful nickname I’ve ever heard. Even worse than when the kid across the street nicknamed me Biff in fourth grade.
It doesn’t seem to be that difficult of a task either. All they had to do was take standard Disney clichés and translate them to the real world. In different hands this could have failed miserably, but director Kevin Lima and screenwriter Bill Kelly do an excellent job of flipping all the tired fairy tale clichés upside-down without making the movie too cynical. Example: Much like Snow White, Giselle can sing and summon the animals of the forest to help her with numerous tasks, such as building a mannequin of her ideal man. Translate this to New York City: Giselle sings a song to summon animals to help her clean McDreamy’s messy apartment. Since this is New York City, however, the creatures that come helps her aren’t bluejays, fluffy bunny rabbits, and cute chipmunks. Nope. She gets rats, pigeons (i.e. flying rats), flies, and roaches who wind up snacking on each other.
The movie, however, seems to not follow the rules it has set up for itself at times. When an entire crowd of people find themselves singing and dancing en masse their reaction when they finish the number is to applaud, cheer, and hug each other. Personally, if I found myself dancing and singing in perfect synchronicity with a bunch of strangers I would be very confused and kind of scared. Mainly because I would either be in a country line dancing bar or in some sort of weird Jim Jones style cult. And I don’t particularly need to hear Brooks & Dunn ever again. Boot Scootin’ Boogie was SO 1992. Plus, the Kool-Aid in those places gives you a vicious hangover.
Also, if I met the character of Giselle in real life, I would immediately think she was a Club Kid casualty. How else would YOU react to a spacey homeless chick in a giant ratty prom gown trying to get back to someplace she calls “Adalasia”? I certainly wouldn’t invite her into my home with my 6 year old daughter. But, this is a Disney film, so New York is less The City that Never Sleeps, and more of The City that Kind of Sleeps If You Give It Some Warm Cocoa and Tell It a Bedtime Story.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Amy Adams’s wonderful performance in this film. She is a delight to watch, and certainly is as gorgeous in real-life as any animated princess should be. I mean, shoot, I could certainly fall in love with her, and I’m kind of wary about women right now. So that’s saying something.
And, yes, boys and girls, your eyes don’t deceive you. I DID just give a glowing review to a Disney film with people singing in it. Just goes to show you if you are open to new things you just may like them****.
****i.e. buttsex, ladies. And/or gents.
Next Week: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince totally have this awesome new song called “I Am Legend”. Til then, I’ll be looking for my True Love. Be wary, ladies.