Ella Enchanted (2004)

Ultimate 90’s blogathon is done and wrapped up. It is time to embrace some movie reviews. I have to admit that I actually didn’t watch a lot of movies over the last three weeks. I took the opportunity to catch up on TV series and gaming, which was a really nice change in pace.

I am a fan of Anna Hathaway and especially in those Princess Diaries days and I am also a sucker for princess/Cinderella stories which makes Ella Enchanted all the more fantastic. It has been a while that I’ve wanted to see this one so I was excited to see it land on Netflix! Lets give it a go!

Ella Enchanted (2004)

ella enchanted

Director: Tommy O’Haver

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Minnie Driver, Aidan McArdle, Joanna Lumley, Lucy Punch, Jennifer Higham, Eric Idle, Vivica A. Fox

Ella is under a spell to be constantly obedient, a fact she must hide from her new step-family in order to protect the prince of the land, her friend for whom she’s falling. – IMDB

Ella Enchanted is an innocent fun movie, actually much more than my first impressions that I remembered of it back when it released. While it does give a Cinderella-esque story, Ella embodies quite a few princesses we are familiar with. She does have an evil stepmother who brings two stepsisters and they do push her aside but Ella also has a fairy in the household and ends up getting a curse, like Sleeping Beauty except her curse is one of being obedient. While it seems great as a baby for their parents, as she grew up, it started to cause her to do many things she didn’t want to. Ella lived with no choices and under people’s desires because of this curse. However, she is very kind and accepting. It is hard to not cheer for Ella when she sets out on her journey to find Lucinda, the fairy who granted her this “gift” and feel bad for her predicament when she gets caught up in bad situations.

Ella Enchanted

Anne Hathaway does a great job at being Ella. There’s a bit of the whole innocent and Princess Diaries’ vibe in her at this point. It is a likeable trait and shows lot of potential in being more as an actress. We do know that she is capable of bigger and more mature roles nowadays. Most of the scenes with Ella as some of the best because she is so fun to watch. Along with the fact that her and Hugh Dancy have pretty good chemistry that it makes their love story even more appealing. I haven’t seen Hugh Dancy in a lot of movies. The one I remember slightly might be a few years ago when I saw Confessions of a Shopaholic (and then IMDB tells me that I’ve also seen him in Blood and Chocolate and The Jane Austen Book Club, oh well). He is a charming man for sure and fits well in the role of Prince Char. Perhaps the most entertaining part of Ella Enchanted is watching these two characters. While over the top to a certain degree, still manages to remain believable.
Ella Enchanted

Aside from our main characters, Ella’s crew of friends that she makes along her journey probably are the silliest. She has a magical book that is her household fairy, Mandy’s (played by Minnie Driver) boyfriend. There’s an elf who wants to be a lawyer and not sing and dance. There’s some silly orcs (I think) and of course, some friendly giants. The story is that Char’s uncle is ruling over the kingdom before he comes into coronation, which is pretty much when the story is set and he has decreed rules that make the other species feel repressed and treated cruelly. These friends while filled with a heart of courage and help with making this funny, sometimes can be a little off beat from the story. It still is fun and innocent especially seeing as this is a truly harmless story and one that we’re pretty familiar with.

Ella Enchanted

Finally, our villain. All fairy tales have one. Ours is none other than Char’s power lusting uncle Edgar played by Cary Elwes. And he also has a sidekick which is a magical CGI snake called Heston. Are you sensing an Aladdin’s Jafar feeling here with his Iago? Either way, Ella Enchanted is very lighthearted and even in its most sinister and dark moments still manages to keep it light and funny. Edgar is completely comedic in many ways. The other villain, in some ways, is the stepsister played by Lucy Punch who really just wanted Ella out of the way in order to get her hands on Prince Char for herself. Nothing too threatening about this character other than the fact that she’s merely a pawn in the whole ordeal to Ella’s dilemma. What makes sure that we are definitely watching a mash-up princess movie and not Cinderella is that our villain isn’t the stepmother who would mimick the role of Lady Tremaine but really has a small role here and who is not at all threatening.

Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted is an innocent and fun movie. It never lets us forget that we are watching a fairy tale story with an impressive heroine geared towards a younger audience. It keeps it light by staying comedic and making it a funny affair to watch. There is good chemistry between Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy who are clearly the strength of this film. The story is familiar and simple and quite predictable and yet, there’s something charming about it. Perhaps it is because fairy tales, especially live action ones nowadays are getting so dark that its nice to visit one that remembers to keep it fun and fantastical.

Have you seen Ella Enchanted?

Bad Teacher (2011)

I wasn’t expecting to get back into romantic comedies so soon but this one just happened to be chosen out of the unwatched list at home. It was time to watch it since I should return it to my friend afterwards. The past weekend was CRAZY! I have a good amount of reviews to write up and its getting all backlogged.  Hopefully I’ll get it up this week.

bad teacherDirector: Jake Kasdan

Cast: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel, Lucy Punch

Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a junior high school teacher who is just has her engagement broken off from a rich man.  Her priority has always to find a rich husband and now she wants to do that by getting herself breast implants. Conveniently, as she is forced to go back to work as a junior high school teacher, she meets Scott (Justin Timberlake) who is a rich substitute teacher.  She tries to get him to notice her while pretending to be involved in the school activities and her class, when all she does is be disrespectful, inappropriate and rude.  However, when she learns that if her class can score the highest score in the state exams, she will be rewarded with a huge monetary prize, she starts changing the way she teaches.  As she is pursuing Scott, Elizabeth is being chased by the persistent gym teacher, Russell (Jason Segel).  While Scott seems to be growing more fond of another teacher, Amy (Lucy Punch) who suspects Elizabeth of her bad teaching ways and wants to continuously dig up dirt on her to get her kicked out of the school. Between everything going on, will she get what she wants?

Let’s just say I didn’t hate the flick, however, I won’t be adding it to my collection either.  The story is pretty simple.  If you are a Cameron Diaz fan, she really does amazing.  My boyfriend and I sat there hating on her character and shaking our heads as to how disgusting a person like that actually would be.  Thats exactly what her role is supposed to do, so she did it right on! Went straight for getting under our skins as a superficial, inappropriate and rude effortless teacher.  You can’t get any better at that (maybe you can), and she lights up this movie.

bad teacher liz teaching


On the other hand, Justin Timberlake has yet to convince me that he can act.  Maybe he just needs to pick better movies.  If you have one, please tell me.  JT was part of N’Sync and I liked that group when I was younger (I know I know, you can laugh) On top of that, he had the weirdest expressions in this movie. Maybe the movie required that, but it was disturbing to me.  Especially one of the scenes…but I won’t say which one to not spoil anyone’s “fun” if you haven’t seen it.  Okay, I have to move on from this character and attempt to erase that image from my mind.  So I’ll move on to Jason Segel, whom I loved.  I haven’t seen him in much before this but he was awesome! Maybe I like to root for the underdog in love stories but he was a fun character, plus he delivered some good lines.  I’m down for more Jason Segel after this…(about that, I have to find time to finish The Muppets)

Cameron Diaz,Jason Segel,Justin TimberlakeFor this one though, it was less about the romance than it was the girly unfriendliness between the characters of Elizabeth and Amy.  It wasn’t anything bad but it was entertaining to watch.  It had me guessing as to what would happen next.  Lucy Punch isn’t a bad actress.  She’s average but she had some ridiculous moments as well but then, the parts where she interacted with Cameron Diaz, it made me laugh.

Cameron Diaz,Lucy Punch

I’m not sure I’m totally down to see this movie again and I’m definitely not going to recommend it highly.  But, if it happens to land on TV for free and you happen to want a laugh here and there, its not completely bad.  Cameron Diaz shines at being the ultimate bad teacher and she, at the very least, will entertain you 🙂