Chick Flick Review: “Enchanted,” a celebration of Retail

 

With a writeup like this, barfbags should come standard.

With a writeup like this, barfbags should come standard.

Category: Chick Flick
Toxicity: Nonlethal, but unusually large number of Tropes sighted — check for allergies
Side Effects: May cause males to make relationship-inappropriate comments during viewing.

Characters:
Maureen Dowd
Maureen Dowd’s Hopeless Punk
The Chick
The Chick’s Competition
The Male Threat, a Prince
The Male Target, a Lawyer
The Chick’s Many Enablers (animal kingdom)
A Brave and Heroic Chipmunk (Male Bitch)
A Wise Chick-in-Training
Assorted Dorks and Idiots

Synopsis: Maureen Dowd tries to save her kingdom by keeping her son the prince (the Male Threat, who she’s apparently raised to be a blithering solipsist) from finding and marrying the one creature in all existence who can get a rat to scrub a toilet. Conflict ensues, and after much posturing, Maureen Dowd is destroyed by a heroic chipmunk, at which point the Chick trades up from Prince who will satisfy her needs to Lawyer who will satisfy her needs while enabling her to discover a brand new world of Shopping, and abandons a universe of Platonic Realism in which she can theoretically life forever in happiness, to remain in a mortal world yet satisfying world of Boutique Retail.

Oh, yes, and there’s a dragon in there somewhere. But she seems to mostly resemble Maureen Dowd, and is about as threatening, so who cares?

(continues after jump)

Plot Arc of the Chick:

Arriving in a harsh, cruel world in which, GASP, in which nobody gives a rat’s ass about the Chick… now, get this, because she ISN’T SPECIAL, (I know, try not to faint), said chick discovers that rather than going through a ritualistic and vapid marriage to some guy she’s never met in order to satisfy Storybook Romance (said romance being inevitably cast in a twistedly patriarchal manner: rather than completing “our” duet, a truly romantic notion, it’s “his” duet. Note that the Male Threat, of course, fundamentally satisfies his cardboard-character requirements by lacking a clue).

Conflict ensues when the Male Target is apparently found to be about to make the mistake of marrying The Chick’s Competiton, a thoughtful albeit savagely materialistic woman who is, oddly open to Storybook Romance and the extermination of cellphones. She’d almost be tolerable if she weren’t so openly mercenary.

The Chick slowly redeems the Male Target from the mistake of Continuing His Relationship (with somebody else), primarily by means of charming him with her zeal, and exchanging her beautiful but tragically handmade dresses for a really FUGLY but PURCHASED dress bought on his credit card without his knowledge, thus converting him from faux-edgy disapproval based on Jaded Worldly Experience to Hopelessly Smitten Approval and Sappy, Ridiculously Awful Dialogue.

The Denouement:
Chick abandons a universe of deep feeling to open a boutique (with Male Target’s Money, of course) wherein various rich which girls can be trained to also be Princesses, thus injecting the Princess disease solidly within New York’s upper-middle-class. (Though one suspects that this would not be a virgin-soil epidemic).
The Two Male Bitches go on book tours, Maureen Dowd’s Punk having discovered that he does indeed, have balls, but not enough to actually KILL THE EVIL WITCH, thus saving the day and ending the conflict. Rather, his is a journey of emotional self-discovery aided by a friendly female radio talk-show host.
No, the Chipmunk never gets a date, the women (animals) who purchase his book being clearly-unavailable members of yet another species.
The Male Threat and Female Competition hook up according to the now-twistedly-Chicktiarchal version of Storybook Romance (while throwing out a cell phone, the one redeeming moment in the movie).
Maureen Dowd dies.   That’s pretty cool.  But it mostly happens off-camera, so we don’t get to see it.

Featured Misandry/Chickflick Tropes:
1. All of creation exists to serve the needs of the Chick? Check. (Nota Bene, this is a recurring Disney trope surrounding any character with the attribute “Princess.”)
2. Heroically brave but romantically-nonexistent male character will repeatedly and thanklessly save Chick’s ass? Check.
3. Males involved are broken or stupid, with Male Threat being fundamentally clueless as to the Chick’s emotional needs (which involve a credit card)? Check.
4. Romantic Male Target is secretly a Hurt Little Boy needing to grow emotionally? Check.
5. Smiling and treacly ethnic people have nothing better to do than to break into a song-and-dance number just to help some blond Chick win an argument with a white guy who doesn’t dance? Check.
6. Romantic Male Target has unusually large amount of money and/or unrealistically cool housing for his job/position? Check.
7. Supporting male characters are essentially passive with no existence or personality other than that required to further the aims of female characters? Check.
8. Young (female) child demonstrates clearly superior emotional maturity? Check.
9. Male Target’s personality makes absolutely no sense? Check. (In this case, a high-powered attorney who can neither distinguish between a rat and a chipmunk, nor describe how plumbing works.)
10. Female Competition flies off the handle at appearance of obvious infidelity, but is reduced to simpering loviness at (the perception of) having something expensive bought for her? Check.

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Leave a comment

3 Comments

  1. drteine

     /  May 1, 2009

    So I take it you liked the film then? 🙂

    Reply
  2. Well, it was better than “Kate and Leopold,” I’ll grant you that.

    Reply
  3. Harsh. Realistic, but harsh. 🙂

    Reply

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