ENCHANTED (Kevin Lima). 107 minutes. Now playing. Rating: NNNN
Sometimes the big studios get it right. Enchanted is a high-concept fish-out-of-water tale that works on so many levels it's dizzying. Plus, it features a breakout performance by the luminous Amy Adams.
Adams plays Giselle, a fairy-tale princess who is banished from her cartoon kingdom of Andalasia and finds herself in grimy modern-day Manhattan. Dr. McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey, is the jaded divorce lawyer who, giving in to his pleading child (Rachel Covey), helps out Giselle until she can relocate her charming but dim Prince Edward (James Marsden).
Bill Kelly's script cleverly contrasts the conventions and language of old-school animated fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White with the realities of urban life. Pay attention to the scenes where Giselle's caught in midair, as well as the feminist twist on that trope near the end.
Kevin Lima's direction is adequate; the conclusion seems a bit sloppy, and the running time feels a bit excessive. But there's movie magic here, especially in Adams, who's asked to exude innocence and goodness at the beginning - she walks a fine line between delusion and naïveté - then authentically grows aware of the larger world in the film's touching final third.
It's hard to think of another actor who could make singing to urban flora and fauna while doing housework, or parading around Central Park in a big extended musical number, so believable.