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Friday, February 13, 2009

ENCHANTED (2007)

ENCHANTED’s set up (what if Sleeping Beauty or Snow White dropped into modern-day NYC as a real person) sounds like a pitch for the latest SHREK sequel. But the film (helmed by Kevin Lima & scripted by Bill Kelly) is less of a mocking send-up of fairy-tale conventions than a variation on ‘30s ‘screwball’ comedy. When Princess-to-be Amy Adams lands right in the middle of Times Square dressed in a ball-worthy gown, without a cent on her, she’s only following in the indelible footsteps of gorgeous comic heroines like Barbara Stanwyck, Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers & most particularly Claudette Colbert in films like MIDNIGHT/’39 and THE PALM BEACH STORY/’42. The big difference is that Colbert (and those other gals) found her bliss without a speck of fairy dust or CGI, which made her far more magical because on some level, we believed in her ability to pull off the impossible. And while there's a reasonable amount of fun to be had here (a great computer generated chipmunk, a dense as a doorknob Prince Charming), it pales next to the great animated & ‘screwball’ films it teases.

SCREWY THOUGHT(S) OF THE DAY: Isn’t it a cheat to end the film with one of the ‘real’ characters going off to ‘classic’ animation land? And why hire belter supreme Idina Menzel and leave her with nothing to sing?

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