If you’re looking for a bit of romantic escapism, then one of my top recommendations has to be Disney’s ‘Enchanted’.
With a great cast – you can hardly go wrong when you have Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon and Timothy Spall all in the same place – this is one of those movies that is, ostensibly, made for children but is just as enjoyable for adults looking for a little fun, easy relaxation.
It’s a clever film that begins as animation, in keeping with the tradition, and even pays homage to some of those earlier offerings by introducing little moments which have echoes of the greats such as ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Snow White’. But in a twist, we are then brought into real life action – as is our heroine, Giselle!
The humour that Disney is so good at operates on two levels in this film – with the obvious, visual comedic moments emitting giggles from everyone but there’s also another layer in which it pokes a little fun at itself, and its genre. Robert’s bewilderment that every random person in the park conveniently seems to know the words and dance moves to Giselle’s song, despite him never having even heard the song before, must bring a smile to even the most cynical viewer who may have wondered about this opportunistic situation in other films!
Many of Disney’s offerings can be a little bit too saccharine in their message but with ‘Enchanted’, it’s conveyed in a way that doesn’t have you immediately googling ‘sugar de-tox’. Patrick Dempsey’s cynical divorce lawyer, a man whose wife left him and his child years ago, has no sense of romance. He doesn’t believe in Happy Ever After, and doesn’t even really consider it as a possibility. And then Giselle lands in his lap – almost literally – a girl from a fairytale land who believes in nothing but goodness and happy ever afters! Their interaction, coming from opposite ends of this belief, is joyful and funny and sweet. The waltz scene near the end is one of the most romantic of any movie for its simplicity and the bittersweet situation the couple now find themselves in. Each of them learn something, as Disney intends them, and us to; that life isn’t a fairytale but that doesn’t necessarily mean there can’t be fairytales within our lives.