“Disenchanted” (2022) Movie Review

Director; Adam Shankman. Starring: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Maya Rudolph. Rated PG. Color. 119 Minutes.

Way back in 2007 Disney took a calculated risk on a movie that combined genres not typically connected. A “Snow White”-esque animated tail meets the real world. The buzz was not that great. Amy Adams was early on in becoming the megastar actress she is now. It appeared to be corny Disney Channel type of stuff that was to be released on the big screen. It turned out that “Enchanted” was delightful family fun. It charmed both the kids and adults with plucky self-reflective humor and solid cheesy moments. Plus, again, it had Amy Adams.

Forget all of the fun you had with the first one. “Disenchanted” is one of the most soulless family movies of the past 20 years.

Timeline wise it has been 15 years since Princess Giselle (Adams) was banished from the perfect animated Disney world in search of her Prince Charming only to enter the rough and tough streets of NYC. Her unexpected prince from the previous installment, the lawyer Robert (Dempsey), has embraced the fairytale life in the real world. Robert’s daughter and Giselle’s stepdaughter Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) is not the biggest fan of the random musical numbers. With a new baby, Giselle decides it would be a great idea to move to a suburban town named Monroeville. I will allow you to insert the jokes on that.

This small town is like the real world fairy tale Giselle was always dreaming of, even though the house is a complete fixer-upper. The hubby and step-daughter are not exactly thrilled. Robert now has a long train commute to work and Morgan is embarrassed starting a new school being dropped off by a singing lunatic. Alas, this will not detour Giselle’s dream.

During the renovations they build a well in the backyard that opens a portal between the two worlds. Not sure how exactly that works, I’m sure there was some kind of explanation, but I doubt you will remember it just like myself. Through the portal comes Prince Edward (James Marsden), Giselle’s presumed Prince Charming from the first movie, and his betrothed and former villain Nancy (Idina Menzel). The couple are not exactly impressed with this new “castle” Giselle is building.

On the real world side, Giselle is being over-kindnessed by Malvina (Maya Rudolph), a PTA mom on steroids who is fake kind. When all hope is lost, Giselle uses a magic wand that Prince Edward brought as a housewarming present to wish this town would become fantasyville 101. Nancy becomes the angry bitch queen, mirror mirror and all. Robert turns into the dumb prince. And of course Giselle’s furry friend the chipmunk scroll (Alan Tidy) shows up to fill the Jimminey Cricket roll that is the embodiment of morality.

“Disenchanted”, unlike its predecessor, lacks the key ingredient a film like this needs. CHARM! The musical numbers lack zero pizzazz. Never at any moment will you in the audience have the desire to tap your feet or clap your hands. I would bet my life savings nobody will remember a single number a few months from now.

The acting is also horrible, including Adams. Patrick Dempsey trying to do what James Marsden did in the first film simply does not fit. Maya Rudolph as the evil queen, please. Amy Adams as the fake evil stepmother, C’mon. Bad casting. When Gabriella Baldacchino, no disrespect to the young lady, is acting circles around a Hollywood icon, that might be a problem. Beyond that I could go on and on about the horrible production values from top to bottom, but what is the point.

We all enjoy a fun fantasy picture, particularly during the holidays. If you are looking for a good one that you can laugh with, check out the original. If laughing AT a painful experience is more of your taste, then “Disenchanted” is right up your ally.

SUCK FACTOR: 6 out of 7. (7 Means Your Movie Really SUCKS!)

The SUCK FACTOR! How it works. We have flipped the script on the standard rating system. If your movie is a complete masterpiece, such as “The Godfather”, you receive a perfect 0 SUCKS. If you make a complete dumpster fire, such as a Michael Bay movie, you will receive an imperfect 7 out of 7, meaning your movie really SUCKS!

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