Review: Disney fairytale 'Godmothered' has charm
Courtesy of Disney+
A mixed bag of clever sight gags and situational comedy, Disney’s fairytale charmer “Godmothered” from director Sharon Maguire (“Bridget Jones’ Baby”) and writers Kari Granlund and Melissa Stack, has enough charm to entice both children and adults.
In the film, Elanor (Jillian Bell), a young fairy-godmother-in training, transports herself to the human world (unbeknownst to her strict headmistress played by an underwritten Jane Curtin) to answer the call of eight-year-old Mackenzie who wrote a letter asking for romantic advice. Through some time-bending loopholes, Elanor ends up in Boston, only to discover MacKenzie (Isla Fisher) is a single-middle aged mother working for a Fox News-esq media company who thrives on fear mongering.
Bell - channeling her inner Buddy the Elf and Amy Adams from “Enchanted” - is a bubbly presence on screen, and the more Elanor tries to help Mackenzie with her two daughters and work life, the more creative hijinks and chaos ensues on screen. Let’s just say, the definition of “Happily Ever After” gets a new and progressive 2020 makeover. But Elanor has to make her godchild (or god-adult) believe in the process or else the entire fairy godmother race faces disbandment.
Fisher and Bell make an engaging duo for “Godmothered” and Maguire deserves credit for turning this one-note Disney tale into something watchable. Especially when it comes to the finale that practically rewrites the rulebook on classic Disney fairytale endings. That said, “Godmothered” finds itself in the same narrative traps of most Disney fodder: ranging from the obligatory workaholic parent who continually misses precious childhood memories to unamusing musical numbers (the cast does a riff on “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music” which now that Disney owns 20th Century Fox is perfect corporate synergy).
Thanks to cinematographer Christopher Norr, Boston has a nice Christmas shimmer throughout “Godmothered” and should work magic on Disney+ around the holidays. It won’t blow you away nor is it destined to become an instant classic, but considering the wealth of similar movies out in the ethos, “Godmothered” gets a pass solely on Bell’s ebullient presence.
GODMOTHERED streams on Disney+ starting Friday, December 4th.