Friday, February 01, 2008

Friday Film Night - Enchanted

Ever wondered what would happen if fairy tale characters weren't just found between the covers of a book? Would Cinderella be written off as the next Emelda Marcos? Would Sleeping Beauty be sent to a doctor to be treated for narcolepsy? In this week's Friday Film Night, Fiona Harper looks at a movie that takes a light-hearted look at what could happen if fairy tales and real life were to collide.

Once my daughter, who was probably about four at the time, asked me, “Mummy, why am I real? Why aren’t I a cartoon?” But, if my choice of film this week – Enchanted – is anything to go by, being a cartoon is a lot more complicated than anyone ever anticipated! Meet Giselle (Amy Adams), a stereotypical Disney heroine, bright and cheery and sweet, dreaming of that perfect man who will sweep her off her feet and make her life complete. And then, one day, she drops into Prince Edward’s arms – literally – and as soon as they clap eyes on each other they burst into song and decide to be married the next day, while all the cute little woodland animals look on and sigh.

Not much like real love, is it? Where’s the angst, the jealousy, the insecurity, the passion? Well, as Giselle discovers, that comes later…

Edward’s mother, the queen, is in no hurry to lose her status as the premiere woman in the kingdom and, on the morning of her wedding, she tricks Giselle into peering into a magic wishing well and pushes her in.

But, instead of finding herself in three feet of mud, Giselle finds herself lost and alone in modern-day New York, desperately waiting for her prince to come and rescue her. Luckily she runs into Robert (the yummy Patrick Dempsey) and his young daughter, Morgan, and they take her in. Giselle soon finds out that life – and love – is more complicated in the real world.

Robert is a jaded divorce attorney, who has long stopped believing in the magic of love and he can’t quite get his head round the young woman who makes dresses out of his curtains and seems to bring laughter and happiness everywhere she goes. Despite the fact that he thinks she's as mad as a box of frogs, he can't help warming to her eternal optimism and starts to fall under her spell.

And, as the story progresses, Robert discovers that true love isn't just a fairy tale, and Giselle, who never doubted its existence, finds out that it is a heck of a lot more messy, painful and wonderful than she ever anticipated.

This was a great film for all the family – even my husband enjoyed it – and it had some true, laugh-out-loud moments and an ending that had me reaching for the tissues.

Fiona Harper's latest release English Lord, Ordinary Lady has been shortlisted for the RNA's Romance Prize 2008 and is available right now on the shelves and on the eHarlequin and Mills & Boon wesbsites.


  1. It really *is* a great family film. It's a long story but I ended up taking my 12 year old son to see it - and he LOVED it. Just found it incredibly funny.

    I'm off to see 'Penelope' tomorrow .... Worst come to the worst, still has James McAvoy in it.

  2. I loved this film, it had some funny moments in and lots of pay on the older Disney cartoons. Timothy Spall was great in it too.

  3. Brilliant film, and I even started singing 'How does she know?' and waltzing a few steps before leaving the cinema.
    Well written, family fun.

  4. Its nice meeting you Fiona. Definitely checking out your book. I love historical romances!

    I need to wait until the movies are on DVD since I need the close captioning for the deaf, so I haven't seen this movie. I don't watch too many movies, but this is one that I've heard a lot about and plans to be one I will rent and watch!

  5. Fiona,

    The film sounds great. I just missed it when my family saw it during the school holidays and I had to work that day. Sigh. Will definitely look out for it on DVD.

    Congratulations on being shortlisted for the RNA prize.


  6. I've been wanting to watch that film since it came out. It's still on at our local cinema. And now I've read your post, I might be able to persuade my hubby to go with me!
    Annie Burrows

  7. Since the only movies I see these days are kids movies, I was thrilled to find that this one doubled as a sigh-worthy romance. I loved this film so much that I went out and bought the sound track just so I could relive it. Oh yeah, my kids liked it too.