CHENNAI: Helmed by Sharon Maguire, whose “Bridget Jones’s Diary” was a fascinating watch, “Godmothered” nips at the heels of popular fairytales in a bid to offer audiences a delightful little story, but in this case it falls flat.
Disney’s latest flick is a sugar spun magic-and-mayhem mess that is over-reliant on traditional fairytale tropes — pumpkins that turn into coaches pulled by mice that transform into — well, I’m sure you’ve guessed it.
Set in a beautifully illuminated Boston — it’s Christmas time after all — Mackenzie (Isla Fisher) is a single mother with two daughters working at a local TV station. Up in Motherland, Eleanor (Jillian Bell) is a trainee fairy, passionate about helping mortals on Earth. When she discovers a letter written by a little girl asking for “happily ever after,” Eleanor jumps at the chance to help.
Clumsy to the core and completely disappointed to learn that the girl, none other than Mackenzie, is a woman now, Eleanor makes up her mind to turn the mother’s life into a fantastical fairytale. Hiccups, ranging from disastrous to amusing, ensue as the fairy learns the ropes.
The film industry is notoriously competitive and Disney appears hell bent on adding its offerings to an already overloaded festive season schedule. While this may be great for harrowed parents whose children are at home for the holidays, one does wonder if the era of quintessential fairytales is over. Can production houses still sell fairies, goblins and witches to a generation that swears by hardcore reality? Yes, the likes of “Trolls” and “Onward” still captures an avid audience, but sugary fantasies are quickly losing their charm.
As for the casting, the clumsy and catastrophic Bell does introduce an antithesis to the delicate, dainty fairy of yesteryear, which is a fresh take on the concept and the one redeeming — if not slightly annoying — aspect of the film.