Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Almost a Review: Penelope

This is not an incredibly great movie that your life will be incomplete if you do not see. It is, however, a good movie. And it seems a shame that it looks like it will come and go without a ripple in the pond of common culture.

Classic fairy tale curse that goes awry when trying to teach a rich bunch of bluebloods a lesson, in this case a pig face on Penelope Wilhern (Christina Ricci). I am not giving anything away here since this is talked about in the setup of the movie. As is common with cleaned up fairy tales that will be appropriate for sheltered children there is a lesson to be learned, though in a way it is not the obvious one I thought they were aiming for. Which is good, a simple, "you gotta be yourself" isn't really that satisfying.

The weird thing is that unlike other fairytale movies this movie is full of beer drinking and other bad behavior (hence the PG rating) and isn't a schmaltzy as something like a Nanny McPhee. The feel of the silly action and weird characters is the same though. This is not a movie for lovers of splendiferous CGI or makeup, it is just solidly effective.

I recommend it more for adults than I would children, unless you don't mind your children seeing beer drinking, dumped servant girls committing suicide, and mild language. It certainly will not appeal to most teens as they will be far too cynical to enjoy it for as the light romantic comedy confection it is.

I would put it in the same category of entertainment as Shrek, but without the excessive and endless pop culture references. If you like oddball comedy like Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, or Into the Woods you might want to give this a chance. It certainly would brighten an afternoon and I found myself laughing quite a bit with it.

Penelope on IMDB (contains spoilers)

No comments: