(Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden & Susan Sarandon)
Get ready for a shocker – I liked this movie. It’s as cute as a two month old puppy, but still – I liked it. It doesn’t try to please adults with innuendos the way some movies of this ilk; it is clean, ‘G’ rated material from start to finish & yet – I liked it. & I’m pretty sure the reason I liked it was Amy Adams – her performance as a ‘fairy tale cartoon princess’ who suddenly finds herself as a real live person ‘shoved’ into modern day New York is, well, to be perfectly honest, ‘adorable’. Although my first thought was – she’s too old to be playing an innocent young virgin princess – she pulls it off & draws you into her ‘sweeter than cinnamon sauce’ persona by staying in character even when she learns the un-fairy tale-like emotion of anger.Amy plays Giselle, a beautiful cartoon maiden who relies on her friends, the creatures of the forest, to come to her aid whenever she ‘sings’. Her best friend is a chipmunk named Pip, who keeps assuring her that ‘someday her prince will come’.However, when she does meet her Prince Charming (or Edward, in this case, played by James Marsden) he unfortunately has an evil Step-Mother (Susan Sarandon, rebounding from her so-so work in “Valley Of Elah” & “Mr. Woodcock”).
To keep Giselle from becoming a ‘princess’ the step-mother shoves her down a well which eventually leads to the New York City sewer system where she emerges as a ‘real’ person. This is where the dreaded cartoon version ends & the film starts being enjoyable.After being ignored & robbed by regular run-of-the-mill New Yorkers, Giselle sees a billboard for the Golden Palace Casino & thinks she’s found a way home. This is where Patrick Dempsey & his daughter discover the ‘kook’ in the huge-bustled fairy-tale dress trying to gain entry into the door painted onto the billboard.After hearing about her rude & frightening encounters on her first day in the city, Patrick’s character Robert offers a sarcastic ‘Welcome to New York’; she beams at the line & replies with a heartfelt ‘thank you’. This is why this movie worked for me; Giselle’s inability to recognize sarcasm. After falling asleep on Robert’s sofa, Giselle awakes & scans his filthy apartment.
So, just like back in fairy-tale land, she opens a window & calls for the creatures of the forests to come & help her clean the place up. Yet, instead of fuzzy bunnies & turtle doves – pigeons, rats & cockroaches answer her call. From that moment on, I had a perpetual smile on my face & I couldn’t find anything to dislike the rest of the way. It isn’t ‘ha-ha’ funny, it is just an amusing ‘fish out of water’ tale that I think people of all ages can enjoy.