“Look, I think it’s only fair to warn you that I’m practiced in the ancient art… of Origami!”“Paper folding?”“Oh… I was hoping you wouldn’t know what that was.”
I watched the 2004 film Ella Enchanted, remembered partway through that it’s on my Reading List and so here we are.
I stumbled across it on an on demand service and thought ‘might as well’ which is similar to how it ended up on the list. In June I marathoned Classic Alice – a webseries which had an accompanying podcast (Pens vs Lens) in which they compared books to one of their film adaptations. One episode was on Ella Enchanted, which, unlike every other book covered, I had never heard of. I was curious, saw it had Anne Hathaway in it, who I like and I thought that I ‘might as well’ add it to the list.
The plot is a mix of fairytales and other bits and bobs set in a strange medieval/fairytale/modern world best described as being very similar to that ofShrek. It boils down to Ella (Anne Hathaway), like Sleeping Beauty, being given a gift by her Fairy Godmother as a baby. The gift is obedience which, as she has to do whatever anyone tells her to do, is more of a curse than a blessing. When it becomes too much for Ella, she goes on a mission to find her godmother and get her to revoke the gift etc. etc. A handsome Prince Charming is involved.
The podcast didn’t really focus on the cast which is perhaps to do with most of the actors being more significant to a British person. For example Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame) is the rhyming Narrator and Joanna Lumley plays a fabulous Evil Stepmother. As the finale of Downton Abbey is fast approaching (Christmas Day, 8:45pm, ITV1) I feel I must mention that Jim Carter (aka Carson, the Abbey’s butler) is a large, blue troll in this film. It also seems right to note that Cary Elwes (who played Westley in The Princess Bride – my last Reading List post) plays Prince Char’s Uncle Edgar, the villain of the piece. I have decided this doesn’t count as a spoiler because it is just so obvious – he has a snake sidekick.
Ella Enchanted is no great piece of cinema but is fun and colourful. That it ends on a big song and dance number (Don’t Go Breaking My Heart)pretty much sums up what this film is like.