Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Enchanted is... enchanting

With two kids, aged 6 years and 16 months, you may well imagine that we don't get out to movies much these days. We either have to see them in shifts or find one that the boy will enjoy (Transformers was a good one) and the baby will tolerate.

We also find that it's best to go during the day when there are very few people in the theater to be bothered by a crying baby or breastfeeding mother.

So on the strength of a preview and review by Frederika Matthews-Green in National Review Online, we went to see Disney's Enchanted.

It's a hoot! It's a story about a not-yet-princess who is thrown down a well by her prince and husband-to-be's evil stepmother - and comes out in New York!

Adults will have a great time spotting all the allusions to classic Disney fare, and kids will just get off on the action.

This is satire for sure, but of the loving tribute kind of satire. And... say it softly, but it's a wise and thoughtful movie as well. Doesn't hit you over the head with anything, but it makes you think about stuff like love, courtship, and parenthood.

Amy Adams is Giselle, the pretty redheaded princess who is taken in by a sad, world-weary single dad, divorce lawyer. She's brilliant. Playing the fairytale princess (complete with cartoon voice) thrown into real life must have been difficult to pull off without a. cracking up (though who knows how many takes that must have taken?) or b. coming off sappy and sacharine.

Patrick Dempsey (a.k.a. "Dr. McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy) is the single dad divorce lawyer - he's OK in this, basically support for Adams.

James Marsden gleefully hams it up as the Handsome Prince.

Idina Menzel, a strikingly exotic raven-haired beauty, is the girlfriend of the single dad who isn't the bad guy, just not the girl for him.

Susan Sarandon is the power-hungry queen - a delightful piece of probably unintentional irony.

The flick is worth the price of admission for one scene. Giselle wakes up in the dad's apartment, which is a mess. "Oh no, this won't do."

She throws open the window and sings out, "Ah-a-a-a-ah."

So instead of field mice and songbirds, a pack or rats, roaches, flies and pigeons arrive. "Oh well, it's nice to make new friends."

They all set to work cleaning up to a "Happy Working Song."

Giselle singing to the cockroaches perched on her finger had me in stiches - and I knew it was coming.

Take your kids to see it - it's as good an excuse as any.

Lyrics to "Happy Working Song" (and imagine this sung by a high-voiced, slightly ditsy but pretty girl while cockroaches clean the tub, flies wring out a towell, and rats and pigeons straighten up.)

Come my little friends as we all sing a happy little working song
Merry little voices clear and strong
Come and roll your sleeves up - so to speak - and pitch in
Cleaning crud up in the kitchen as we sing along
Trill a cheery tune in the tub as we scrub a stubborn mildew stain
Pluck a hairball from the shower drain to that gay refrain of a happy working song
We'll keep singing without fail - otherwise we'd spoil it
Hosing down the garbage pail and scrubbing up the toilet - ooh!
How we enjoy letting loose with a little "la da dum dum dum!
While we're emptying the vacuum up it's such fun to hum a happy working song - ooh! -
A happy working song
Oh how strange a place to be
'till Edward comes for me, my heart is sighing
Still, as long as I am here I guess a new experience could be worth trying
Hey! Keep drying!
You can do a lot when you've got such a happy working tune to hum
While you're sponging up the soapy scum
We adore each filthy chore that we determine
So friends, even though you're vermin, we're all happy working throng
Singing as we fetch the detergent box for the smelly shirts and the stinky socks
Sing along
If you can not sing then hum along
As we're finishing our happy working song!


  • At 8:22 AM, Blogger dchamil said…

    Agreed, Amy Adams is born to play the princess part, while Patrick Dempsey is her "straight man," reacting as a normal man would to the magical situations.


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