Mar 2008 18

This modern day fairy tale follows the adventure of a cursed, pig nosed, girl searching for the man who can of blue blood decent that can break the curse and turn her to normal, and while it starts off strong it slowly fades into something pretty ridiculous and bad by the time it’s all over.
Penelope is played well by Christina Ricci but the script and story is just all over the place and the solid performances by the lead and supporting cast can’t save the mess of a picture that this becomes. The myth of the curse and the early courting montage are great and funny bits at the beginning and the films head is firmly on tight, but by the time that Penelope runs away, the movie loses its focus and is just all over the place.
James McAvoy does a good job as the possible suitor, but he has an American accent, and just disappears for extended period of the film, it just doesn’t make sense. Catherine O’Hara is great as the over protective, yet desperate, mother that is trying to find her daughter a husband and give them the life they deserve instead of the secluded life they were forced into.
Another plot point that starts off fine and then just makes little sense by the end is Peter Dinklage’s role as a photographer trying to get a picture of the pig faced Penelope for the tabloids. Dinklage is great as usual, and his plot works well in the get go, but unhinges with the rest of the film. Simon Woods is also great as the snobby blue blood working with Dinklage, trying to clear his name and regain face after his pig woman report.
Reese Witherspoon is a waist in her small, but the only reason she is in the picture is due to her producer credit as they were trying to give the film a bit more appeal.
I really was so ready to like this film, but just as I was getting into it, it all falls apart at the seams. The film doesn’t really know what it wants to be and is more of a smattering of ideas that might have worked but just can’t really solidify into something solid. The first third is pretty great and funny, but I can’t recommend you to go see this in theaters based on the debacle collapse of the film; wait for a rental if interested.


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