Monday, September 8, 2008

Ella Enchanted - The Movie

Having read this wonderful reworking of the well known Cinderella story and reviewed it here, I thought to give the film of the same name a try.

Supported by a star studded cast, Anne Hathaway plays Ella: a girl placed under the gift or curse of obedience by her well meaning fairy godmother, Lucinda. The spell forces Ella to obey any command, be it ridiculous or sinister. After being forced to give up her best friend by her horrible step-sisters, Ella decides it is time to look up Lucinda and get the spell removed. With the help of a Benny, man accidentally turned into a book, and Slannen, an elf who wants to become a lawyer, Ella sets off to Giantville. On the road she is captured by ogres, rescued by the prince (Hugh Dancey), then saves him from a royal conspiracy and learns the strength to break the curse must come from inside herself.

As a movie in its own right, this glitzy, feel good story works well. There is humour, evil to overcome and a love story. Unfortunately fans of Gail Carson Levine’s novel are left wondering what went wrong. Gone is Ella’s sassy spirit, her ambition and determination. The friendship between Ella and the prince is put aside for a love-hate relationship and the steadfast King, who governs his lands so well, is put aside for an evil regent.

All in all, if you enjoyed the book, skip the movie, but if you haven’t read it, then you will find this a charming family flick.

Rated: PG.
Run Time: 96 minutes