Disenchanted movie review & film summary (2022)


Of course, suburbia isn’t immediately the “after happily ever after” of their dreams. Although they’ve moved into a beautiful, pink, two-story home complete with a castle-like spire that many would consider dream home goals, the “fixer upper” is disparaged by just about everyone, from Morgan to the PTA queen bee of Monroeville, Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph), and even the King and Queen of Andalasia (James Marsden and Idina Menzel, reprising their roles). The script (which has four credited writers) doesn’t really explore their adjustment period, though it does give Giselle and Morgan plenty of time to bicker. 

As a teen, Morgan doesn’t have time for Giselle or the magical memories of her childhood. Giselle laments she doesn’t “sing the right song anymore.” After a fight with Morgan ends with her angrily telling Giselle she’s only her “stepmother,” Giselle makes a desperate wish on a magic wishing wand (a house-warming present from Andalasia) for them to have a “fairytale life.” The song here is wonderfully bittersweet, with Adams bringing a tinge of sorrow to her shining voice. 

But stepmothers are always wicked in fairytales, and so this wish naturally becomes a curse, slowly turning the town into Monrolasia (clearly inspired by Belle’s village from “Beauty and the Beast”) and Giselle’s goodness into evil. As she becomes aware of the fairytale cracking veneer, Morgan discovers she has until the final stroke of midnight to undo everything.

While the script is heavy on action, it’s incredibly light on any kind of real characterization. Malvina is a stock suburban queen bee, with Rudolph responding by playing her less as a wholly realized character than as Evil Maya Rudolph. Adams has fun with Giselle’s descent, altering her sweet lilt to a deep poison tongue. The two get a few showdowns, and one zippy duet entitled “Badder,” but the tension is nowhere near as delicious as what Adams crafted with Susan Sarandon’s big bad in the first film. 

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