Thursday, April 4, 2013

20. Ella Enchanted

2004; dir. Tommy O'Haver; starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy
My views: 12

I will be the first person to admit that this movie really isn't that good.  I mean, not only does it have practically nothing to do with the wonderful book by Gail Carson Levine that it's supposedly based on, but it's also super cheesy and ridiculous.  In fact, while I'm being completely honest, I'll admit that I almost didn't do this blog because I knew this was going to be on it.  Not that it's the worst movie ever made or anything.  It's entertaining, which I think is the point.  It's just hard for me to publicly own Ella Enchanted as one of my top movies of the last 10 years.  But I'm going for it anyway because there are several reasons why this film made the list, and I want to talk about them.

First of all, this movie will always make me think of my brother.  When he was little, he would find a movie he liked and watch it over and over again for a week or two, then switch to another one.  Ella Enchanted was one such movie.  Unfortunately, I can't blame my brother for making me watch this with him, because he didn't.  Usually when he was in one of his phases, he'd watch the movie in question by himself.  If I happened to walk in the room, I'd generally just think, "Oh he's watching The Aristocats/Sky High/The Incredibles/whatever again" and then leave.  But I always watched this with him because I kind of liked it too.  I've been a pretty big Anne Hathaway fan ever since The Princess Diaries (more on that later), and if nothing else, this movie demonstrated that she could sing.  I probably would have been happy just watching the "Somebody to Love" scene over and over again, but I have a really hard time just watching bits and pieces of movies (with the sole exception of Newsies), so I often ended up watching the whole thing just for that one scene.  However, even my love of Anne Hathaway and my brother's series of movie obsessions combined wouldn't have been enough to get me to watch this 12 times.

One time when my siblings and I were watching Holes, my sister accidentally pressed a button on the remote, and suddenly the actors were talking to us about making the movie.  Thus we discovered audio commentary.  We eagerly gathered the other DVDs we had and watched as many as possible with the audio commentary turned on.  It wasn't long before we discovered to our immense disappointment that, in general, watching movies with commentary is incredibly boring compared to watching them without commentary.  Ella Enchanted is a very important exception.  The audio commentary is hilarious.  The movie becomes at least ten times better with audio commentary.  I really wish I'd kept track of whether I was watching it with commentary or not when I was counting my movies because now I don't remember for sure, but I'm virtually positive that at least half of my 12 views of this were with the commentary turned on.  This is the only movie for which my brother and I quote the commentary more than the actual script.  Whenever we're feeling sad or tired of life, my brother will inevitably suggest, "Let's watch Ella Enchanted with commentary!"  To which I usually reply, "My satchel!" and he responds with, "Annie, ya look possessed."  And no one else knows what we're talking about because normal people don't watch bad movies with commentary over and over again.  But who wants to be normal anyway?

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