Godmothered (2020) movie review
Godmothered premiered on Disney+ earlier this month to mixed reviews. It stars Jillian Bell as Eleanor, a young Godmother to Mackenzie, played by Isla Fisher, in Disney’s latest take on a fairytale and the “Happily Ever After” motif. Unfortunately, Eleanor is late in responding to MacKenzie’s letter, and finds herself attempting to bring about a happily ever after for someone who has already had and lost hers.
So, I read a couple of critic reviews before going into this and one compared it to Enchanted, which is pretty accurate. Eleanor is from a place called the Motherland, where fairy godmothers live and train before going on assignment. The Motherland, however, is about to be closed down because people aren’t writing to fairy godmothers anymore, so Mackenzie becomes the last chance for Eleanor to prove herself. She has no idea how the real world works, and is not very fluent in spells, which makes for some awkward situations. Unfortunately, those situations are supposed to come across as funny, and I think I only genuinely laughed maybe once or twice. It’s things we’ve seen before, but worse, making me wish I was watching Enchanted instead. The performances are nothing notable either, with Jillian Bell leading the cast. She is often over the top, but seeing as how that’s the direction the film wanted to go in, she does it pretty well. Everyone else is fine, with no particular standouts except how bored some of them appear to be.
Humor and performances aside, there are some things to enjoy here; the main one being Rachel Portman’s fantastic score. The music is perfectly fun and, well, enchanting, taking listeners on a familiar path harkening back to old-school Disney. It is familiar but different, the perfect twist on a Disney score and perfectly fitting for the movie it is in, helping to set the light and fun tone throughout.
The last thing I want to talk about is the obvious message the movie is carrying. I do not typically enjoy movies whose some purpose is to push a message in viewer’s faces, because I think there is a good way to go about it and many movies miss the mark, but that’s a discussion for a later post. Godmothered falls somewhere in the middle for me as far as that’s concerned. I understand that the twist on true love being family, friends, etc. is an update that they have been gradually implementing for a while, and I can appreciate this movie being something a little different for kids, a little more realistic about true life “fairytales” and a little more truth about the way life is. However, the ending takes that idea and exaggerates it more than I wish it had, because instead of just ending the movie on that note it insists on inserting a little animated ending which doesn’t even fit the rest of the film, just so they could get a little bit more in your face about it. It does nothing for the movie overall except pad the runtime, which I think is already a bit long for the story they had to tell.
Overall, Godmothered was not a total miss. Jillian Bell’s performance is quirky and fun, and the highlight of the film. However it is not enough to overcome the overall lack of genuine humor weighed down by a bloated runtime carrying a very modern-Disney message. If you’re paying for Disney+ it could be a fun watch if you just need something new; if not, Disney’s Enchanted is also available, and is a much better film overall (if you’d like to see us review it, let us know below!). 5/10 for Godmothered.
So, Godmothered? Did you see it? What did you think? What is your favorite twist on the fairytale trope? Be sure to leave a like and a comment below letting us know! And let us know what you’d like to see us review next!
-review by Rachel Grosselin