Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ella Enchantged

Took my six year old to Ella Enchanted this afternoon, and she rated it a 10/10. I give it 8.5. One part Cinderella, one part Lizzy McGuire, one part Mean Girls, one part Monty Python. Much more enjoyable than I would have predicted, this retelling of Cinderella is premised on Ella being blessed /cursed by her fairy god mother at birth with an enchantment that makes her obey any order she is given. So she ends up taking directions like "Bite me" literally. What makes the movie funny for adults is the Pythonesque bits which transpose modern institutions (malls, valley girls, etc) into fairy tale terms. Nice twists on the evil step sisters (Mean Girls) and the Cinderella fable (now its clear why she had to put up with all those stupid orders) and nice anti-racism undercurrent. All in all, a painless outing for parents and a good movie for kids.

I also lend my seal of approval to Shrek II, which similarly transposes modern elements (police pepper spray, union activities, organized crime, etc.) into a fairy tale setting. In this case my six year old only got about 1/4 of the jokes/references, but that was still enough to allow her to enjoy the movie; I suspect even most teenagers won't get everything since many of the in-jokes are references to scenes from movies they will never have seen.

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