As if by disenchantmentthe sequel to the iconic 2007 animated film “Enchanted” from which Amy Adams’ professional rise sprang, has been released directly in streaming on Disney Plus.
The film continues in the vein of humanizing and parodying everything people love about fairy tales, but never has the spark of the former. Where the other was extravagant and original in subverting the mice of the Disney tradition, this one appears faithful to the cinematic cliché of curse of sequels.
Fifteen years have passed since the meeting between Giselle (Amy Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey). The two are married and have expanded their family by giving birth to little Sofia, while Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino), his daughter, is now a teenager. However, the longed-for happy ending hides a sequel, especially if lived in the real world, and so Giselle realizes how living in New York, for a creature of fairy tales but not only, is really tiring. She then convinces the family to move outside the metropolis, in a suburban town called Monroeville. The new life forces Robert to get up at five in the morning to go to work and Morgan to attend a new school where she still has no friends. On top of that, Giselle feels uncomfortable in the presence of who she is the local queen bee, Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph). Disappointed at the downside of what seemed like a change full of promise, Giselle ends up brandishing the powerful wand brought to Sofia as a gift by Prince Edward and Nancy (again played by James Marsden and Idina Menzel) and uttering the wish of a fairytale life. At this point the real troubles begin.
Kevin Lima’s delightful, intelligent and funny “Enchanted” was a romantic comedy disguised as a fantastic film: a mixed work that knew how to hybridize live action, cartoon and musical with balance and panache. No wonder it has become a small cult, after all it was the first Disney film in which the house of Mickey Mouse began to reflect (with great self-irony) on the stereotypes inculcated until then generations of children. From there a new way of characterizing the princesses started, with “Rapunzel” (2010), “Brave” (2012) and “Frozen (2013).
That said, the sequel, “Come per disenchantment”, after so much time, could hardly have subverted the figure of our beloved Giselle more than it already does, that is, doubling her character even in an evil version. At the center of the story there are no longer the kiss of true love and other immortal utopias, but the much more realistic troubled relationship between mother and daughter, or rather between stepmother and stepdaughter.
There is a jolt when Giselle intones her melodious call to her animal friends and they respond with the famous echo of the same notes, but it is useless to expect any more heartache. No memorable scenes behind the corner. “Come per disenchantment” proceeds by accumulation of quotations but also of archetypes, exploring in particular that of the stepmother, a cruel and vain villain in fairy tales and an unprecedented maternal figure in today’s extended families.
Adams is as usual incomparable: she sings, dances and smiles when she is the sweet and loving Giselle, embodying a naivety graceful and disarming, but she is also perfect in the opposite version of the character, the one that emerged due to a spell, an opportunity for the actress to show off great expressiveness and craft. As for the always charming Patrick Dempsey, this time as Robert he’s little more than an extra.
Although the direction has passed to musical expert Adam Shankman, at first glance it does not seem that the musical numbers are exceptional and destined to be remembered: the songs are pleasant and catchy, but the lyrics and uninspiring choreography.
“Come per disenchantment” is a fun investigation into the real meaning of the famous “and they lived happily ever after” and not only has the advantage of inviting you to find the magic in everyday life, in the little things of life, but above all to warn about the dangers of dreams where it becomes an escape route.
From the beginning of the film we know that reliving the same emotions aroused by the original is impossible, if only for how we ourselves have changed spectators in the meantime. However, the pleasant prospect of looking remains something familiar and perhaps to have fun with your loved ones in recognizing the various and numerous references to other fairy tales and other films.
Certainly, whether one likes today’s work or not, one wants to revise “Enchanted”, a certainty in terms of cure-all escape.