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Penelope the Movie

March 7, 2008

Penelope is based on a screenplay by veteran tv playwright Leslie Caveny, and has a book by Marilyn Kaye based on this screenplay. (Book pictured left.) This urban fairytale could best be described as a reversed Beauty and the Beast chick-flick.  A curse is placed on the rich aristocratic Wilhem family, after their son slights the local witches daughter.  The curse entails that the next born Wilhem girl will have a face like a pig.  Fast forward to present day and Penelope Wilhem (Christina Ricci) is born, the first girl heir to the Wilhem family in decades.  She is told the only way to break the curse is to find “one of her own kind” to love her.  In an attempt to break the curse her parents (Catherine O’Hara and Richard E. Grant) subject her to a plethora of blue-blooded suitors. However, the suitors often run for their lives after seeing Penelope’s snouted face. In an attempt to get Penelope’s picture a nosey reporter (Peter Dinklage) hires a destitute gambler (James McAvoy) to act as a pseudo suitor.  Even though he never sees Penelope, the destitute gambler begins to gain a connection with her. However, when Penelope proposes marriage the destitute gambler turns her down.  Broken hearted, Penelope runs away from home to the see the world and finds more than she ever expected.

Christina Ricci does a great job playing an innocent doe eyed oddity, who likes herself just the way she is no matter what obstacles she faces.  Thus, because her character is so endearing one forgets the snout and begins to really see how beautiful Ricci is.  Also, can I just say James McAvoy is pure hotness in this movie! (BTW can’t wait to see him in Wanted with Angelina Jolie.) His blue eyes literally pierce your soul.  In addition, the costuming and settings in the movie were equally beautiful, and had a lighter Tim Burton feel. (I’d compare it to Big Fish) However, I did get a little confused over the location settings. It looked like they shot some scenes in New York and others in London.  This is definitely not a dude movie, but will appeal to teenage girls and women who love magical romantic fairy-tales with fabulous outfits. See the trailer below!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Liz permalink
    March 7, 2008 6:07 pm

    I think the book is actually based on the movie (if you look at the bottom of the cover, it says something along the lines of “adapted from the screenplay”). I also found an interview with the screenplay writer online, where she described how she came up with the idea. It’s strange, because they do seem to be marketing the movie as though it’s based on the book.

  2. BlueNight permalink
    March 9, 2008 2:06 pm

    I find it highly ironic that they spend the entire movie teaching her to love herself just the way she is, and learning this lesson is the key to releasing her from this deadly social fate. Wow.

  3. Ariel permalink
    March 11, 2008 4:06 pm

    I hope it has a happy ending!! ^_^

  4. Jolene permalink*
    March 11, 2008 7:06 pm

    Liz: Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering about that.

    BlueNight: Yes you’ve got a very astute point there. Yeah I was a little unnerved by Penelopes ‘change’ in the ending. It kinda defeated the purpose of her loving herself just the way she was.

    Ariel: No fear it has a happy ending. After all it is an urban fairytale.

  5. allan permalink
    May 22, 2008 3:14 am

    i kinda liked the movie. It was pretty extravagant. In everything that is.

  6. tee permalink
    July 7, 2008 7:04 am

    love the movie. and james mcavoy too. ♥

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