Thu 10 Jan 2008
It’s alright, Amy. I’m right here … I’ll always be right here … too creepy?
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I would profess my love for Amy Adams. She caught my attention, even in a small supporting role, in “Drop Dead Gorgeous” and of course, in “Junebug“, where her performance was strong enough to garner the 2005 Golden Mug for Best Supporting Actress. Since then (though probably not due to my award), she’s been on the fast track, garnering roles in a myriad of films and always providing a wonderful performance.
This is definitely the case in Disney’s latest fairy tale, “Enchanted”. The film begins in traditional hand-drawn animation (which is a dying art and I hope isn’t totally forgotten as CGI takes over kids films), and then through the machinations of the evil Queen (Susan Sarandon), our heroine is transported to the real world, smack dab in the middle of New York City.
What follows is standard fare for these types of films, with a little boost of female empowerment to boot. There are songs and dances and animals and even a dragon. So, all the basic elements are covered.
Sure, it’s predictable and only a matter of time before the characters in the film realize what the audience had seen coming from the beginning. Yet, that’s what makes this film so wonderful.
I think it’s fine for a film to follow the fairy tale road map, as long as they do it well, and everything in “Enchanted” works. The songs are well written and beautiful, due in large part to Amy Adams’ beautiful singing voice. I realize I’m not quite objective about this (as I wouldn’t mind having her be my princess … holy crap, the movie made me cornier … if that’s possible), but it’s not just that she can carry a tune quite well.
Adams manages to make this character feel as fantastic as any of the classic Disney princesses, whether she’s animated or flesh and blood. Her exuberance and kindness leap off the screen and I feel a bit like a prize idiot for catching myself grinning so damn much during the film. Normally, you don’t expect much from an actor in a role like this but this truly is one of the best performances of the year.
It’s not easy to make a cartoon come to life and to make it convincing. Adams’ character runs the full range of emotions, from angry to zip-a-dee-do-dah (that joke’s going to hurt in the morning). I think most actresses would have just come off as a woman in a big gown but Adams sells it and you believe she’s a real princess.
The rest of the cast do a wonderful job as well, especially Timothy Spall as the evil Queen’s henchman and newcomer Rachel Covey as the little girl who believes Adams is a princess before anyone else.
However, I did have a little problem with McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey for those of you not addicted to “Grey’s Anatomy”). Whereas James Marsden was the perfect ham, embodying a slightly narcissistic but well meaning Prince to near perfection, Dempsey just fell a little flat. he sort of blends in with the background as all the other actors around him are just so alive and over-the-top (in a good way).
Still, this is one of the films that will appeal to all demographics, aside from completely jaded cynics and probably the Dutch. If this is still playing near you and you’ve got an extra few bucks, go right out and get into the theater. I’m giving “Enchanted” a very strong 4 out of 5. It might have garnered a perfect rating if Dempsey has just managed to keep up a bit more with the others on-screen but in being washed out often in scenes, I can’t be quite that generous.
Though if Amy Adams wants to give me a ring, she can have anything of mine she wants … heck, I only really need one kidney, right? Right?