1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Slight, but brilliant,
This review is from: Ella Enchanted [DVD] (DVD)
Ella Enchanted is a comedy take on fairy tales, not quite in the vein of The Princess Bride (though it does feature Cary Elwes, though in a different role -- he's now the villain) but certainly streets ahead of Enchanted. The nicely conceived premise is that Ella is a Cinderella with a twist -- her fairy god mother has given her the gift of obedience which means she has to do whatever anyone tells her -- even if it is physically impossible. This makes the job of the ugly sisters a lot easier in tormenting her, but it is also well explored to trigger all of the major turns in the plot.
If you are old enough to remember Jackanory Playhouse, this is a mainly-British led comedy in much the same style, but on a substantially higher budget. It's much more knowing than standard USA fairy-tale fare, with nods all over the place not only to fairy tales but also to the sometimes laughable attempts to turn them into films. If you're nowhere near old enough to remember anything of the kind, then you will probably be thrilled to see it stars Anne Hathaway of Princess Diaries fame. Older viewers will be delighted to Eric Idle as the narrator and Joanna Lumley as the wicked step mother. Watch out for Minnie Driver, Heidi Klum (as a hot giant) and Steve Coogan voicing the snake. For the Glee generation, there's even the occasional song.
With great set pieces and over-the-top villains, Ella Enchanted is enormous fun from beginning to end. It won't quite set your world alight like Stardust, but the fight scenes are at least as athletic if not quite as menacing.
Slight, but brilliant in a non-too-serious way.