Every once upon a time, there is that sort of Magic that happens to me in a theater that is the special kind of unexpected magic. Not the kind where i go into Jurassic Park opening day knowing i am staying in the Ziegfeld and seeing every single one of the five showings even before they shot the first frame of film type of magic. I’m talking about the kind of magic where i start out expecting the worse. I may want to like it. I may be looking forward to it. But i never expect anything to blow me away. When I have a Sweeney or a Beowulf to look forward to, I pretty much know i’ll have seen it about four times by the end of opening night. But with Enchanted, i honestly did not know what the heck the outcome would be.
I have been anxious about this since first hearing the news of Menken coming aboard the project over a year and a half ago. And, regardless of how i would feel about it, i also wanted this film to succeed for the simple fact that a lot of the industry will (unfairly) judge the relevance of traditional animation based on the performance of this film. But despite all of this, there were moments in the trailer when i really wasn’t sure if this was going to be what I wanted it to be.
And then, on wednesday night in the Ziegfeld, a place of so much prior magic, it happened once again. So much, in fact, that i stayed right there in the Zeigfeld, just like old times, and saw it again right away.
Now, keep in mind, i STILL wasn’t certain during the first 20 minutes or so. But then…then everything began to fall into place for me. The songs were the icing on an already solid script. It’s one of the most romantic films i’ve seen since i can remember.
Amy Adams is to this what Depp was to the Pirates films. Its more than a performance. The performance IS the movie. She deserves a Nom for this. With Pirates, if you took Depp out of the equation you wouldn’t have much left. Here, everyone’s favorite Loverboy Dempsey gives a performance equally as impressive. These are not easy roles to fill without drifting into corniness or self-aware Shrek-like mockery. I was so relieved they didn’t drop to that kind of level.
Sure, yes yes yes – there are some of the typical “gags for the kids” i felt should have been left out because the film is so much better than that. And yes, some of the humor is broad and falls short for me. And yes, i wanted more from the Sarandon villain. But – these are all small complaints. They all don’t overmatch the chills i get from this. And more as it goes on. By the time the “That’s How You Know” is happening throughout central park – i’m lost in this film and it’s one of my faves of the year. It’s the kind of vibe i set out for with Roland. This is The Disney Magic like i want it – and the Menken back where he belongs and hasn’t been in this fine a form since Herc ten fast years ago. These three songs are up there with the best of his best as far as i’m concerned. In fact, the other two, “True Love’s Kiss” and “Happy Working Song” are throwbacks to the old Disney-era songs that they just don’t wrote anymore. I only wish there were more songs. I can only prey every night for a Broadway version with an expanded score and songs. Until then, I’m going a third tonight and a fourth tomorrow.
sidenote – the worst part of the night was the lack of the Goofy short, “How to set up your home theater”. What happened with that, i wonder? It was planned to run before Enchanted. Could it be some theaters got it and some didn’t? I don’t think they’d let that happen. Perhaps it couldn;t be completed in time, or they felt they should save it to help promote something else that may need the help more at the Box Office? Hmmmmmm.
Cool Footage of Giselle in times sqare. I can’t believe they put her in the mahole in the middle of such a crowded time of night!
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