This movie confuses me, I’m not really sure who it’s for. If I had to venture a guess I would say Ella Enchanted is for eight year girls who liked the Princess Dairies and like to shop at Claire’s. So if you fit that description you MIGHT sincerely like this movie but I can’t really imagine everyone else liking this movie. I sort of used to like this movie in a guilty-pleasure way but it’s really chaotically goofy and not in a good way as it takes itself seriously.
Main plot goes a little like this, sweet little baby Ella who lives in a place called Frell gets a special gift from a well-meaning but incompetent fairy named Lucinda. Lucinda gives Ella the gift of obedience which means Ella has to whatever she is told whether or not she wants to or if she is physically capable. Only her mother and their house-fairy know and before Ella’s mother dies she tells Ella not to tell anyone about the gift/curse.
Ella grows up to be a liberal-minded teenage and her father gets remarried to a vain woman with two daughters, meanie Hattie and dum-dum Olive. One day the handsome Prince Charmont a.k.a Char comes to Frell for a Mall opening, Ella and her pal take the opportunity to protest for Ogre’s rights which Char’s evil Uncle, Edgar is persecuting. Hattie gets mad and sends Ella off on her way but Ella then runs into Char and since she is the only girl to not fancy Char they have a snarky attraction. Hattie then finds them and sends Ella back to the mall where Ella gets into trouble because Hattie caught on to Ella doing what she is told and Hattie and Olive made her steal stuff.
Ella decides that she need to get Lucinda to take back the gift, so her house-fairy, Mandy gives her a special book named Benny who is also her boyfriend to help Ella find Lucinda as he can show people and not where they are, though looking at context Ella sees that Lucinda is going to a wedding in Giant-ville. So she off with a Book and along the way she runs into an Elf who wants to be a lawyer, some ogres and Char. They go to the wedding but miss Lucinda. Char recommends Ella looks at census stuff at the castle.
At the castle Edgar gets wind of Ella doing what she is told and orders her to kill Char when he pops the question because they are in love. Ella tries to break it off with Char and chains herself up to a tree. Her plan might have worked but Lucinda shows up, frees Ella and gives a dress for the ball. Ella goes to the ball and nearly kills Char but breaks the gift by telling herself not to obey anymore, that never crosses her mind before? To tell herself not to obey? Ella is arrested but her crew of oppressed magical friends help her, fight scene and Edgar inadvertently poisons himself, though doesn’t die. Ella and Char get married and they end with a song and dance number.
Just so we’re 100% clear Ella Enchanted was based on a book of the same name by Gail Carson Levine from 1997. I haven’t read the book but from what I can gather the movie is nothing like the book, like you can’t even compare the two they are too different. So the movie wasn’t for fans of the book.
Also I have to wonder about the whole gift giving thing. The movie seems to indicate the giving babies gift was commonplace but we never hear anyone else talking about their gift. Maybe the book explains it but the movie doesn’t. Also is a fairy an occupation? Like what is the difference between Lucinda and Mandy. Mandy says she is a house-fairy but what does that MEAN? Do other houses have house fairies? Is she employed? Are any fairies good at the their jobs? These little things just take me out of the movie.
There is one thing I liked about this movie but I kind of hate that I like it, the actors. There are so many actors I love who are in this movie, from Cary Elwes, Eric Ideal, Joanna Lumley, Heidi Klum, Jim Carter ect. I don’t really have a issue with Anne Hathaway, Vivica A.Fox, Minnie Driver or Hugh Dancy but most of these actors have been in things I have liked and yet they somehow are in this movie? I mean they wasted Joanna Lumley who is awesome in AB Fab. The trouble is expect for Elwes who is just chewing the scenery everyone is playing this movie fairly straight when the idea is supposedly to be taking jabs at fairy tales.
It seems like the movie is parodying fairy-tales with it quirky stye but the basic story is being true to yourself and that is what Ella does while being perfect. I mean she is pretty and has no emotional hang-ups, she is smart and proactive. She is damn perfect that is not very interesting. The only thing that makes her interesting is her curse which is the source of most the film’s weak attempts at humor.
Then we have come to another major issue with this movie, the costumes. Execpt for Ella, all the costumes are AWFUL, they are trash. I don’t know how this movie managed to make Heidi Klum look bad but they did. The movie has this weird sense of fanasty fairy tale costume but they give them weird modern cuts with gross fabric. Olive at one point has to wear a purple hoodie that is the fuzzy and glittery at a ball. Also Ella’s ball gown was a snooze.
Ella Enchanted has somethings going for it like the good cast and not abysmal pacing but the humor, style, tone and plot are corny as heck. But in classic this movie let’s go out with a song which is also a clue.Follow thehunchblog