Tuesday, March 18, 2008

‘Penelope’ — a modern-day fairy-tale delight

By MELODY STONE, The Eureka Reporter

Published: Mar 14 2008, 1:22 AM
Category: Arts

I’m a sucker for romantic fairy-tale comedies. I love Cinderella stories and princesses and, well, almost anything in that genre. I grew up with the Disney princesses, and I’m happy to see Hollywood catering to big-girl princesses with movies like “Penelope” and “Enchanted.”

In “Penelope,” Christina Ricci (Penelope Wilhern) plays a blue-blooded socialite who was born under a curse that she would have a pig nose until she found someone of her same kind to love her despite her pig nose. So her mother locks her away, fakes her death so no reporters will come around, and arranges for her to meet suitors who are forced to sign a gag agreement before they see Penelope. All the suitors run, and eventually Penelope also runs away from home, using a scarf to hide her nose. She meets funky, Vespa-driving Annie (Reese Witherspoon), who befriends the awkward scarf-wearing girl. If I say any more, it will spoil the whole movie, so if you really care what happens to the pig-nosed girl, go see the movie.

I will say this, the colors, costume design and the world created around Penelope are amazing. She looks like she was dressed by Hot Knots (on the Arcata Plaza) and her room was designed by Plaza Design and Bedouin traders. They never tell us what city she lives in, and some people have British accents and others don’t, so you don’t even know what country they are in. Overall, it’s a world similar to but completely unlike our own.

Also, Ricci’s huge forehead looks normal next to her pig nose and she actually looks very cute as a pig girl.

I’m giving this movie a 4 if you like fairy tales and a 3 if you don’t. I’m for sure going to buy it when it comes out on DVD and maybe throw a fairy-tale marathon where we will dress up and watch “Penelope” and “Enchanted.”

(Opinions expressed in columns do not necessarily reflect those of The Eureka Reporter or its staff.)

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