There are some fine, potentially Oscar-worthy films in the theaters right now. As a film connoisseur it's vital that I keep up with great films like the latest from the Coen Brothers or Sean Penn's ode to Mother Earth. That is why I spent this weekend at the theaters watching the movies Enchanted and Hitman. I chose these two due to their clearly profound natures, and the promise that they would nicely complement my post-Thanksgiving feast of nachos, Slurpee, and Red Vines.
First up to bat was Enchanted, the latest Disney ex machina about a princess looking for her happily-ever-after whilst being pursued by a wicked, wicked witch, beginning with a ‘b.’ A couple of days before Enchanted opened, my brother sent me an agitated email pointing out that Enchanted had a Rotten Tomato rating of 100%. “What is the world coming to?” he wanted to know. Really, he said that. “What is the world coming to?” He described it as “The movie which answers the question we’ve all been wondering. What would happen if Doctor McDreamy were a lawyer in New York instead of a doctor in Seattle?” I attempted to gently point out to him that it’s a Disney movie and he, a man in his 30s with no children and no propensity for cross-dressing or singing show tunes, is not really the audience. We both agreed though that the scene of James Marsden being run over by bicycles looked hi-larious!
The truth is, Enchanted is charming, though hardly Disney’s best. The trick of the movie is that Giselle, who lives in an animated fairy tale world in a mushroom house waiting for her prince, finds herself banished to New York City by the evil Queen who is not interested in sacrificing her throne to her son’s new love. So, you have a sweet naïve beauty with cartoon notions of love wandering the streets of New York City, singing to the rats and cockroaches. Through the course of her journey she is also being chased by her handsome if vacant cartoon-esque prince, her chatty pet chipmunk and eventually of course the evil queen and her minion. Along the way she meets Lawyer McDreamy, a divorce attorney with a cynical view of happily ever after, and Lawyer McDreamy’s sweet young daughter who dreams of fairy princesses.
It’s both a strength and a weakness of the film that of all the cities on planet Earth where refugees from Fairy Tale planet could wander the street without being instantly carted off to the loony bin, New York would be the one. On the one hand, you can accept that people would stare but then instantly forget the crazy dude in tights trying to wrestle a city bus. On the other, it’s really hard to imagine a single dad allowing a clearly insane if sweet young lady into his apartment in the middle of the night, no matter how much his daughter insists that she’s “really a princess.” But the song and dance number in Central Park is frankly hysterical and one of those scenes, like those with the sewer workers who keep encountering lost cartoon land refugees, which show the writers knew New York as well as they knew Disneyland.