Friday, March 28, 2008

In Defense of Fairy Tales

We finally saw Disney's Enchanted after many lovely recommendations. I don't think I could possibly say it better than Barb Nicolosi's brief recommendation:

It is smart and at moments hilarious and consciously uncynical. And when Disney is on the dock at the last judgment, they will just show this film and say, "The defense rests."
G.K. Chesterton would love this story that not only defends fairy tales, but gives us a quirky look at our world from someone who finds it completely foreign.

I'm kind of a crazy person sometimes. I've been known to cheer (very loudly) at the television - during football games, spelling bees and *some* political speeches. It doesn't happen a lot in movies, but when there's a glorious moment of truth proclaimed on screen, I can't help myself. I found myself cheering and yelling at more than one point in this story. Good stuff!


Keith said...

Just watched this last night with my kids. I did enjoy the element of an innocent person coming into our fallen world and changing it and the people within it. (And I agree that GKC would love that aspect of the film.) However, I did not care at all for the love story in the film. I can't make sense of Giselle's falling for Robert, except by the modern idea that she couldn't help it, her feelings changed. It felt like a fall from grace, because Robert did nothing to win her heart of innocence. It was enjoyable, though, seeing his jaded worldview changed by her innocence. However, he already had a good woman who deserved to have him step up to the plate and be a good man. His return to innocence should have inspired him to virtue in that dept. Instead, the movie tries to get us to cheer for Giselle and Robert's unwarranted romance just as they are betraying the good people who honestly love them. I couldn't do it. And while I was happy that Nancy and the Prince didn't have to walk away empty-handed, their romance seemed shallow. Shouldn't they spend at least five minutes being heart-broken over the unfaithfulness of their lovers, before they skip off to the alter to marry one another? Their romance seemed to send the message that romance is about having somebody--anybody!--instead of someone--that special person. They left their old loves without even a wince and picked up one another with the least provocation.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Interesting thoughts, Keith.

I think you make some good points about the romance, though those aspects didn't come across so negatively for me (especially, I suppose, because there was even less reason for Giselle to fall in love with the Prince back in Andalasia).

In the end, I saw the choices of the two girls as partly about which world they belonged in (though I don't think their romances were very developed in any case).

Love2Learn Mom said...

For those interested in the nitty-gritty details (with a small spoiler), here is a slightly-edited (for context) comment I left on a friend's blog:

There are a few tricky parts, but I think the plugged in review makes it sound more problematic than it really is (for example, I think that the word "homosexual" applied to a particular glance and a very, very mild joke is quite an overstatement).

I think the most objectionable part is the very low-cut dresses worn by the heroine. Fortunately, at this point, my kids all consider that to make the dress uglier, so it's not really much of an issue here.

For me, the positives make up for that completely, but movies hit different people differently and I think this is very much one of those parents-need-to-make-the-call kinds of movies (it IS rated PG for fairy tale violence and mild innuendo).

I think this youtube clip is pretty typical of the story.

I'm not generally a fan of musicals, but I LOVED this scene, probably my second-favorite scene in the movie.


My VERY favorite scene (the one I cheered the loudest for, LOL) was one in which a married couple in divorce proceedings (the male lead in the movie is a divorce attorney) are "accidentally" reconciled by the very innocent heroine's very sweet sorrow over their separation.

The very clever and sometimes rather subtle way that the movie has of looking (very rightly) at the world through a child's eyes is perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the movie on the whole.

Perhaps I should also mention that, after viewing the movie in its entirety only once, it's possible that I missed some little details too.

Hope that helps! :)

Mary Z said...

Loved it here, too. (And you know how rare THAT is!) Innocence wins. How beautiful! How sweet. We only watched once, but found Robert's slow transformation believable and a sign of hope. Refreshing!

Love2Learn Mom said...

Glad you loved it too, Mary. :)

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

We finally watched it and I too enjoyed it! Want to watch it again the next day!