ENCHANTED follows an often-used formula – extreme fish out of water lands in New York. Other examples are SPLASH, ELF, and MIDNIGHT COWBOY.
But ENCHANTED turns out to be a really fun movie. I say that with a certain amount of surprise since this is the type of film I usually run from. And there are not too many guys who are going to say to their buddies, “Hey dudes, let’s go see ENCHANTED tonight.” But the movie is smart, funny, and a great send-up of all those classic Disney animated features that were so precious you wanted to buy a gun. And guys secretly want to bang the Little Mermaid so Amy Adams will certainly hold their interest.
The key to ENCHANTED is that everybody plays it straight, led by Amy. This is not a sketch. There’s no winking at the camera. Amy totally commits to this princess and that’s what makes her hilarious… and even believable. It’s the most fully realized two-dimensional character I’ve ever seen. And she can sing and dance!
Patrick Dempsey was handsome and likable and hopes his feature career takes off like Tom Hanks’ did with SPLASH.
James Marsden, Susan Sarandon, and the chipmunk also did yeoman work.
Screenwriter Bill Kelly didn’t miss a trick. There’s not a Disney cliché that isn’t spoofed other than killing Bambi’s mother (Oh. Sorry. SPOILER ALERT). It’s as if he’s saying, “Hey, you weren’t the only one who cringed at all this crap.” And the songs by Alan Menken & Stephen Schwartz are dead-on parodies of those horrible songs originally written by, well… Menken & Schwartz.
My favorite credit: Hag make-up effects: Rick Baker.
Disney will make a for-toon on this movie. Forget the boxoffice. There won’t be a thirteen-year-old girl in America who won’t own the DVD. And then there’s the inevitable TV series, Broadway production, and ice show. So Bob Iger will live happily ever after.
Meanwhile, ENCHANTED will transform Amy Adams into Hollywood Royalty. And even if she doesn't win an Oscar she's a shoo-in to cop a Golden Globe. But that's like saying she's not marrying the handsome prince but his valet instead.