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godmothered

★★★★

director: Sharon Maguire (bridget jones' baby)

starring: jillian bell, isla fisher, Santiago Cabrera and june squibb

REVIEWER: lyall carter

An inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training tries to prove that people still need fairy godmothers.

What do you get when you cross Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year, with Disney, the happiest place on earth? One of the best Christmas movies in recent memory filled with oodles of Christmas spirit, laugh out loud moments and a much needed reminder of what a real happily ever after looks like.

 

Set at Christmas time, Godmothered is a comedy about Eleanor, a young, inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training (Jillian Bell) who upon hearing that her chosen profession is facing extinction, decides to show the world that people still need fairy godmothers. Finding a mislaid letter from a 10-year-old girl in distress, Eleanor tracks her down and discovers that the girl, Mackenzie, is now a 40-year-old single mom (Isla Fisher) working at a news station in Boston. Mackenzie has all but given up on the idea of “Happily Ever After,” but Eleanor is bound and determined to give Mackenzie a happiness makeover, whether she likes it or not.

 

Will Ferrell's Elf is a Christmas classic. An innocent and naive person thrust into a foreign and unkind world who in spite of it all brings the Christmas spirit to everyone that they meet. This is also the basic premise of Godmothered but it brings it's own magical, hilarious and fun twists to that premise.

 

Godmothered is one of those rare Christmas movies that is so well written, has a great cast of characters with actors who understand those characters and is just so entertaining. I can imagine that this will be on peoples Christmas movie watchlists for years to come.

 

For it's two hour run time the film clips along at an entertaining pace with great comedic moments from Eleanor's dungeon song to Garry, the very unhelpful raccoon. Godmothered also packs several emotional punches, treads an unsterotypical trail and gives us a needed reminder that happily ever after looks different for everyone.

 

The Motherland, the magical land of Godmothers, is one of the best realised original fantasy worlds in a live action Disney movie in a long time. It feels lived and breathed in, allowing us to suspend belief that this it's a place that really exists.

 

Disney continues in the vein of Ralph Breaks the Internet by gentle ribbing its tried and true formula of princesses, singing to express one's feelings and happily ever afters. 

 

Jillian Bell is superb. Hollywood, give this woman more leading roles. She is brilliantly naive as Eleanor but not to the detriment of the believability of the character. She is also really, really funny. Isla Fisher is great as Mackenzie and June Squibb is brilliantly hilarious as the narrator.

 

Godmothered is one of the best Christmas movies in recent memory filled with oodles of Christmas spirit, laugh out loud moments and a much needed reminder of what a real happily ever after looks like.

★★★★