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“Enchanted” – and, really, any other whimsical not-gonna-happen Disney princess tale – is the cinema equivalent of Cher. They’re hardly real, but we can easily wrap our hearts around their starry-eyed stories of on-a-whim love, magic and mystery. And when those cuddly critters helped Snow White tidy a cottage, or when mice, which we’d otherwise trap and murder, fix Cinderella’s old gown, we can’t help but ‘ Aww.’
Which without doubt you’ll find yourself doing during “Enchanted” (Walt Disney Home Entertainment), now on DVD with a not-so-enchanting number of extras, like a ho-hum blooper reel, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a nutty animated short, featuring the film’s adorable squirrel, Pip. In the live-action/animated hybrid, Princess Giselle gets transported from la-la land to the sans-happily-ever-after New York City. It sucks, surely, not getting hitched after 24 hours – or looking like a lesbian in an all-dude bar when you randomly break into a song-and-dance number – and Giselle (a grade-A-plus Amy Adams), much like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” learns that quicker than her decision to marry.
Her bitchy, future mother-in-law Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon), whose son Prince Edward (James Marsden) has the hots for Giselle (and vice versa), throws the innocent princess down a well – the tunnel, apparently – from the dreams-come-true Andalasia to Times Square. And hell.
But not everything is so dismal, as she soon finds. Sure, it’s a royal pain losing your tiara to a homeless man, or walking through the Big Apple in a bulldozer-like gown, but her hope in this foreign territory is rekindled when a handsome DILF, Robert (Patrick Dempsey), lends a hand. Two, actually, as he tries to – the operative word here being “tries” (this is after all, not Andalasia) – catch her from tumbling off a ledge, where a faux door advertises the “Palace Casino,” confusing the hell out of Giselle. Oh, this must be home! Uh, not.
Instead, she heads back to Robert and his daughter’s place. Nothing happens! Well, except for a Giselle-and-cute-critter-friends (rats and cockroaches included) clean-athon. And a sexual-advance oopsy involving his girlfriend, Nancy (Broadway’s Idina Menzel) – which ultimately, when Prince Edwards arrives with hilarious helium-voiced Pip, results in a romantic game of who’ll choose who.
Avoiding typical genre confines, “Enchanted” is under the magical spell of Adams, who becomes as real a princess as any iconic Disney ones – and, quite frankly, was sorely absent from Oscars’ Best Actress nods. From the gentle sway of her hand to the convincing what-the-fuck look on her glowing face when she enters NYC through a manhole, Adams is as animated as a princess should be.
The stone-groove supporting cast – the smokin’ Marsden as the befuddled prince, Sarandon amping up the camp as the queen – all bring rainbow-colored life, and plenty of laughs, to this real-life princess romp, which celebrates fairy tales of yesteryear, peppers in some catchy musical numbers (like the Central Park love-hurrah “That’s How You Know”) and even parodies its own genre.
But what – besides the fact that this is an aw-worthy story about a princess (like that isn’t reason enough!) – makes “Enchanted” gayer than a picnic? Julie Andrews narrates. Marsden would look mighty nice sprawled across any man’s bed. There’s a mention of a “gay refrain” (happy? homo? you decide) during “The Happy Working Song.” And, folks, the most glaring evidence: Disney’s own brief (don’t blink!) queer call-out when the prince, while looking for Giselle, knocks on the wrong door – the door of a man-hungry bear. And, no – he’s not from the Berenstain clan. A-
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Beladi: A Night at the Pyramids
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