2007 Certificate: pg


Amy Adams stars as a classic Disney princess who comes face to face with the 21st century when she's banished to modern Manhattan by Susan Sarandon's evil queeen. Adams sparkles as Giselle, the fairytale aristo, while Patrick Dempsey is a fine foil as the divorce lawyer who falls for her. Kevin Lima's likeable romantic comedy keeps the conceit rolling and there's some wonderfully waspish quips at the expense of Uncle Walt's old classics.


  • Kevin Lima


  • Amy Adams

  • Patrick Dempsey

  • Susan Sarandon

  • James Marsden

  • Timothy Spall


For certain film-makers of a "post modern" persuasion, it's been hip to poke fun at the innocence of the early Disney classics.

Snow White, Dumbo and Cinderella have all been cheerily lampooned with the Shrek franchise seemingly the worst offender.

In fact, the third sequel's crass mickey-take of Uncle Walt's golden years reeked more of cold, commercial cynicism than any affectionate mockery.

So it's a pleasant surprise to happen upon a romantic comedy (and a Disney one at that) which manages to gently parody the studio's glory days while retaining a core of genuine good nature.

This pitches the classic fairytale princess - Giselle (Adams) - into the seamy belly of modern Manhattan, a "place where there are no happily ever afters".

She's been banished there by the evil queen (Sarandon) after she got too close to her stepson (Marsden) and threatened her nasty power base.

As soon as she pops out of a manhole in Times Square in an unfeasibly large ball gown, the gauche Giselle collides full on with hard-headed, go-gettin' Noo Yawk.

"Oh grumpy" she shrieks after a businessman of restricted growth rudely barges past her.

After having her tiara pinched by a can't-believe-his-luck wino, she eventually finds sanctuary in the home of single dad lawyer Robert (Dempsey) and his daughter (Rachel Covey).

However, while she expresses a wish to find a meadow or hollow tree in which to rest her weary head, he worries that he's giving shelter to a "seriously confused woman."

Little does she know that Prince Edward (not the Windsor, the other one) is also in town accompanied by his duplicitous courtier Nathaniel (Spall) as well as Giselle's pet chipmunk.

Director Kevin Lima admirably sticks with the conceit to provide some genuine laugh-out-loud moments sweetened by a pleasingly daft romance.

Mischievous highlights include a re-run of Snow White's spring clean...except she calls on the services of the local vermin - pigeons, rats, cockroaches - to perform their own dodgy concept of housework.

Adams brings just the right skittish joie de vivre to the role while Dempsey resists the temptation to ham it up as the lawyer who falls for her fairytale charms.

It's a shame that a perfectly cast Sarandon isn't used more but that's a minor gripe about a feelgood movie that actually makes you feel good.

Enchanted? You will be.

Tim Evans