I first heard of Ella Enchanted (the book by Gail Carson Levine) while perusing a summer reading list. I looked it up, loved the premise, and fell in love with the charming tale. So when I heard that it was being turned into a movie, I was excited to see if it would retain the same spark, the same magic.
Well, imagine my surprise when I realized the movie was entirely its own entity. It takes loosely from the book, but all in all, tells its own comedic tale. On the film’s Wikipedia page, Anne Hathaway is quoted as saying that there was a previous script closer and more faithful to the book, but that it just didn’t work on screen, so they went another direction. And honestly, I don’t altogether hate that.
The movie is fun in that it makes light of fairytales, even though it itself is one. Everything is completely above and beyond, over dramatized to get the most effective laugh. I can appreciate a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And although many scenes border on cheesy, it makes up for it by being brilliantly cast.
Anne Hathaway is a charming heroine, and I LOVED Cary Elwes as the villain, and Minnie Driver as the fairy whose magic keeps going wrong. There were amusing pop culture type references and a magic book which was very much in the vein of the magic mirror in Snow White.
Altogether, it’s a fantastic family movie, and something light and fun to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon. I still recommend you read the book, seperate from the movie, because I know you’ll love it, but the movie has made a nice corner for itself in my memory.