HAPPILY N'EVER AFTER (Paul J. Bolger). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (January 5). For venues and times, see Movies, page 66. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Though the central plot of this animated film is a revisionist take on Cinderella, the real fairy tale is how Robert Moreland , a guy who wrote three films nobody saw - the last one released, according to IMDb, in 2001 - got people to read his below-average script, option it and, most shocking of all, convinced Sigourney Weaver to star in it. Heck, even getting has-been co-stars Freddie Prinze Jr . and Sarah Michelle Gellar was a coup for Moreland.
In yet another wannabe Shrek-type flick (with the same type of animation), the lives of all the damsels in distress, princesses, etc, are threatened when a vacationing wizard's incompetent assistants and ambitiously evil stepmama (Weaver) take over. You think you're confused? Good luck explaining this to your kids.
Ooh, and then tell them why Cinderella (Gellar) is now torn between handsome doofus Prince Charming ( Patrick Warburton ) and Rick, the lackey who shines his boots (Prinze, who also serves as the smarmy narrator), or why the Seven Dwarfs are now war-obsessed Southerners with names like Billy-Bob and Duke.
Bizarre and uninspired, this is a grim fairy tale indeed.