‘Enchanted’ brings fairy tales into the real world | TahoeDailyTribune.com

‘Enchanted’ brings fairy tales into the real world

Amy Adams stars in "Enchanted." (Disney)

Just in time for the holiday season — Disney knows a thing or two when it comes to marketing. But with “Enchanted,” Disney has gone that extra mile, if you will, taking one of its own classic fairytale stories and blending it into a real-life world, with flawed characters that are even divorced.

You know, there was a time when it appeared that Disney was stuck in its own time warp when it came to the family unit, even when many of their own animators were what you would call a poor example of what the typical family unit should be.

Times have changed (for better or worse depending on your own perspective), and the studio has done remarkable things, both story-wise and, more importantly, in the animation field.

The studio has much to be excited about with this movie. Unlike past animated Disney flicks, this one is on par with other cutting-edge animated flicks and should do well with families and the ‘tweens. OK, even a romantic soul would probably enjoy this as well.

The all-star cast doesn’t hurt either. At the top is Amy Adams, who plays the beautiful Princess Giselle. If she looks remotely familiar, that’s because Adams starred in the much-overlooked movie “Junebug” from 2005. You also heard her voice this year as Polly in Disney’s live-action dud “Underdog.”

Directed by Kevin Lima (“Tarzan”), “Enchanted” is narrated by a Disney classic herself, Julie Andrews. Just hearing Andrews’ voice reminded me of the Disney movies I saw as a child, so it was a warm feeling to hear her in this movie. In fact, had this picture come out some 40 years ago, I imagine that we would be seeing the lovely Julie Andrews in the role of princess here.

For now, though, it’s Adams, and she has that girl-next-door charm about her that makes her so darn appealing. In her animated world, she has found her prince charming (Prince Edward), in the way of James Marsden (“X-Men”), and they plan to marry right away.

But, just like in real life, sometimes the mother feels her son could do better, especially if the mom is the queen who risks losing her throne. Susan Sarandon plays a great evil character who has other plans for Giselle. Why is it that step-moms are evil — you know, when there are so many these days?

At any rate, the beautiful songstress of a princess is banished to a place far, far away that is anything but enchanted: Manhattan. New York City could use some enchantment itself. But can a princess from an enchanted forest in fairytale land make it in the big apple? Hmmmmmmm.

Meanwhile, now in the real world, she falls for divorce attorney Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and his daughter (Rachel Covey). He comes to her aid while she waits for her prince to rescue her. Isn’t this having it both ways? A double life, you ask?

And if that weren’t enough, more complicated is the fact that Robert has a love interest, too. His girlfriend (Idina Menzel) doesn’t take too kindly to her new competition, but at this point if I said any more, there wouldn’t be much of a happy ending.

Suffice to say “Enchanted” was a delight to watch, and Adams pulls off her role as princess in an enlightened world very nicely. She is an actress worth checking out, and I’m looking forward to seeing her stretch her acting capabilities even more with future projects. Disney would be wise to snag her for more such projects before she gets too expensive.

Sarandon relishes playing the evil-doer here and, with some CGI effects, really gets into her role. Such a fire-breathing wench she is, too.

— Howie Nave is host/manager of The Improv comedy club inside Harveys and reviews films for seven radio stations throughout northern California and Nevada, including Sirius Radio. He hosts “Howie’s Morning Rush” on Tahoe’s KRLT radio and you can see his film reviews on RSN.

Keepin’ it reel:

Now Playing: “Enchanted”

Starring: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Idina Menzel, Rachel Covey and Susan Sarandon

Directed by: Kevin Lima

Rated: PG for some scary images and mild innuendo

Running time: 107 minutes

Howie gives it: 3.5 out of 5 bagels

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