Emasculating Movie Review Theater

by

Could that dragon in the middle be important? Hmmm...The wife and I watched Enchanted last night.  This was my choice.  No, seriously.

I could qualify this by saying that I was trying to be a good husband and pick something I thought she’d like.  I could say that we’ve had it at the house since we had our 7 year old niece over a few weeks ago.  I could say that I was drawn to its short running time and light fare.  I could say that we had run out of discs of The Wire to watch.

While some of those statements are true, the fact remains that I wanted to see this film.  Yes, I try to see movies that get nominated for awards and all, but I was especially curious about this one.  Most movies that combine real actors and cartoons tend to suck horribly (see Cool World), and yet this one got great reviews.

It turns out that every one of those raves were well deserved.  Enchanted is a hilarious send up of old Disney 2-D animation movies that manages to feel like several different kind of films.  There are big Broadway set pieces, moments plucked from a romantic comedy, the innocence of children’s entertainment, and the happily ever after of a fairy tale.  The only time I felt that the filmmakers dumbed the movie down for the kiddies was during the final battle between our heroes and the wicked stepmother.   When two people are sliding off a building’s roof, they don’t typically stop abruptly for no apparent reason.

The cast is almost note perfect, with each actor handling their role with aplomb and finesse.  Oddly enough, and my wife pointed this out, Susan Sarandon is the weakest of the bunch.  I think this is because she can’t seem to make up her mind about the role.  One minute she’s gloriously over-the-top, and the next she tries to play it straight.  Granted, this is a sliding scale because you can tell she knows that she needs to really go for it to make the character work, but she never quite gets there.

I like a good musical every now and then (Spamalot, Wicked, and Jersey Boys being my favorites), and so I enjoyed the few songs in the movie.  The 2 set in the real world were particularly delightful, and I found myself humming then the next day at work.  I mean…grrrrrr football!

Husbands looking to score brownie points and families with small children should give this movie a try.

But seriously, when’s football season start again?  I think I’m going to go scratch myself, drink some dark beer, and maybe read a Hemingway book or two.

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