Ten years after the events of Enchanted, the storybook opens once more on Giselle (Amy Adams), Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino). After the birth of baby Sofia, Giselle thinks its time they move somewhere new. Unfortunately, Morgan is anything but thrilled at the idea of leaving behind her beloved New York for Monroeville. When the two get off on the wrong foot in their new home, Giselle makes a wish that changes all their lives forever. Can every day really be a fairytale?

Getting all the gang back for the sequel that fans have been waiting years for was a wondrous sight. Amy Adams is the epitome of Giselle. Her mannerisms and high pitched voice complete with her charming innocence it was makes her so lovable. This time around, it was interesting have her go through a complete transformation unlike anything we’d seen before. Another bright point of the film was having more time with Nancy (Idina Menzel) and Edward (James Marsden). I always felt like they needed more time in the original so this was a treat for me.

Amongst the returning cast were the newbies. Maya Rudolph portrayed the role of wannabe evil queen Malvina. While I’m not a fan of Rudolph’s, I have to say that she was perfect here. The way in which she worked off of Adams made for some really fun scenes. I wish we could have learned more about her and her minions Rosaleen (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Ruby (Jayma Mays).

In typical Disney fashion, I was transported into a land straight out of my dreams. The bright and vibrant color palette really worked and I loved how that only changed as the plot turned into something more dark and sinister. On top of that was the delightful costume designs; I basically envied every single one of Giselle’s outfits. And who can forget the new, catchy soundtrack?

Enchanted is one of my all time favorite films. I remember the first time I watched it and it still makes me tear up at the end. I always thought it was genius to play off of typical fairytale stories and then putting a new spin on them. There was no way that Disenchanted would be better. I hoped it would come close and there were elements I really did like. For the most part though, it seemed like some of that magic was missing. Maybe it was the tired evil stepmother trope that did it. Regardless, I did finally get a glimpse into Giselle and co.’s lives post happily ever after so I guess I can’t really complain.

Rating: ♥♥.5

Dear Evan Hansen

Evan Hansen (Ben Platt) is a high school senior with a severe social-anxiety disorder. As an assignment from his therapist, Evan is required to write letters to himself. But when his latest one lands into the hands of Connor (Colton Ryan), Evan’s life unravels, especially when he learns that Connor has taken his own life a few days later. What follows is a journey of self discovery as Evan is finally accepted by those around him, allowing him to live out the life he always wanted.

To say I was looking forward to this movie was an understatement. I think this was probably THE most anticipated movie I had on my list this year. Based on the Tony Award winning musical of the same name, I was thrilled to finally have the chance to check it out for myself as I never got around to seeing the stage adaption. I can’t lie though, as soon as the critics started coming in for it, I got scared. It was…not what I had expected. Still, I went into the film with an open mind and hoped for the best.

It has been hard putting my thoughts down on paper. The story is certainly polarizing and hard to make sense of sometimes. It’s not black and white at all. Despite knowing the overall premise, there were a lot of details that were brand new to me, though I have to say that the actual plot was nothing groundbreaking or exciting. If anything, it was decent at best and at times it even dragged a bit.

I was hoping the soundtrack would be a smash. Even before seeing it, I had You Will Be Found on repeat and couldn’t wait to watch that scene unfold. One thing is for sure: Ben Platt has the voice of an angel. I have always thought so and okay, he doesn’t look at all like a high school student, but I am glad that we had him for the sake of these songs. He was the standout, everyone else’s singing chops weren’t as good as I was expecting.

The rest of the cast were fine. I like Kaitlyn Dever, but I didn’t think she had any chemistry with Ben. Their scenes together felt hollow and like they were missing something. Julianne Moore and Amy Adams, two household names who are usually amazing in everything they do, were just after thoughts. I particularly wish we had had more with Amy Adams because at least we know she can sing (thank you Enchanted). Out of them all, Nik Dodani was the breakout star. He brought some laughs which was appreciated.

I feel like the movie really wanted to do its best to raise awareness for mental health. It’s such an important topic, one that is still not talked about as freely as it should be and as somebody who struggles with depression and anxiety, I was curious to see how this would be done. While at times they exceeded in this, I felt like it could have been explored and fleshed out even more than it was. Some aspects were dealt with at a surface level or open ended which was just not enough. That being said, I still sat there in tears while the credits rolled because some of it had touched me.

Yes, Dear Evan Hansen has probably become one of the most talked about films of the year. It hit many marks and wasn’t what people were expecting. But I don’t think that should deter anybody from watching it. I hyped it up so much and felt a bit disappointed with the turn out, but I also didn’t hate it. Everyone should give it a go and decide what they think about it themselves.

Rating: ♥♥♥

The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window was one of my most anticipated films of the year. I read the book by A.J. Finn at the very beginning of the pandemic in preparation for the big screen release. As we all know now, the date was pushed back and the rights were ultimately bought by Netflix. You can imagine the build up and excitement that I have harboured ever since. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it this weekend!

Anna Fox (Amy Adams), is a psychologist who has recently separated from her husband. She lives in their New York City home with her cat Punch where she sees a therapist on the regular for her agoraphobia. Since she doesn’t go outside, Anna often finds herself spying on her neighbours, assuming that she will never have to come face to face with them.

One day, new to the area Jane Russell (Julianne Moore) from across the street appears on her doorstep. The two form a bond over a game of gin and a couple bottles of wine. So, when Anna witnesses a violent incident happening to Jane through her window, who will believe her? Nobody saw them together and to make matters worse, Anna usually washes her medication down with alcohol altering her perception of reality. Not to mention the fact, that it appears Jane Russell (Jennifer Jason Leigh) seems to be alive and well, except she is not at all who Anna met that night.

Let’s start with the good. I thought the casting choices were well done. While I am not usually a fan of Amy Adams, I actually thought her portrayal of Anna was spot on. That was exactly how I imagined the character while reading about her a year ago. Julianne Moore as Jane was uncanny and the two had great chemistry together. Having Gary Oldman as Jane’s husband Alistair and Fred Hechinger as their troubled son Ethan were perfect additions. Rounding out with Wyatt Russell as Anna’s tenant David, Brian Tyree Henry as Detective Little and Anthony Mackie as Anna’s husband Ed, there are a lot of familiar faces to appreciate.

I enjoyed the twists and turns along the way. Despite knowing what they were going to be, seeing the reveals occur on screen was still satisfying. The pacing, while slow to start, was necessary for the film and helped set the tone. It was creepy and kept me on the edge of my seat which is really all that I could want from a thriller.

Unfortunately, as is customary with every book to movie adaption, some scenes just do not make the cut. Most of the time, these changes are necessary and I can understand them. This time around, however, there were two plot points in particular that I felt were integral to the story and therefore should have been included. I truly believe if they were added in that everything would have been fleshed out more.

At the end of the day, I am still happy that I finally had the chance to watch The Woman in the Window. It may not have been entirely what I was expecting, but I did like it for what it was.

Rating: ♥♥♥