Movie Reel: Penelope

Taking a step away from standard TV shows, let me share with you one of my favorite movies.

Last weekend, I was finally able to see X:Men: First Class. I had been so excited to see this movie, and it definitely lived up to my anticipation. The cast was incredible, it’s definitely worth seeing again.

The problem with watching James McAvoy on the big screen, is that every time I see him, no matter what movie it is, it can be anything from the movie “Becoming Jane” to “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. No matter what movie, It makes me watch to watch one of my all time favorite movies with him in it.

Penelope.

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Plot Summary(provided by IMDB)
In this modern day romantic tale, Penelope is about a young girl’s inspiring journey, a mysterious family secret and the power of love. With all odds against her, in order for Penelope to break the family curse, she must find true love with “one of her own kind” and realize the most important life lesson, “I like myself the way I am.” Penelope Wilhern, born to wealthy socialites, is afflicted by the Wilhern spell that can only be broken when she finds love. Hidden away in her family’s estate, the lonely girl meets a string of suitors in her parent’s futile attempt to break the curse. Each eligible bachelor is enamored with Penelope and her sizable dowry; until her curse is revealed. Lemon, a mischievous and eager tabloid reporter wants a photograph of the mysterious Penelope and hires Max to pose as a prospective suitor to get the shot. The handsome down-on-his luck gambler finds himself falling for Penelope, but not wanting to disappoint her or to expose his surreptitious ways, he decides to disappear. Fed up by his latest betrayal and determined to live life on her own terms, Penelope breaks free from her family and ventures into the world alone. She finds adventure and Annie, her first friend and becomes the person she was meant to be.

This is such an underrated movie, but one of my most watched movies ever. It was originally supposed to come out in 2006, but continued to get postponed. I remember seeing the trailer for it in early 2007, and I got so excited. It kept being pushed back and pushed back and when it finally came out into theaters, I was stoked. I gathered up my girlfriends, and we went and saw this modern day Beauty and the Beast like fairy tale.

In the Supporting Cast, we have Catherine O’Hara, Richard E. Grant, Reese Witherspoon, Simon Woods, and Peter Dinklage.

 

PhotobucketCatherine and Richard are prefect as the overbearing parents, insistent on making sure they get their little girl married off to a blue blood. Catherine never fails to make me laugh during this movie, her character is definitely one of those characters you love to hate.

 

PhotobucketReese Witherspoon’s character is probably my favorite in the movie. There wasn’t enough of her (though this movie was produced by Reese Witherspoon, so that might explain something). Annie, quickly worms her way into your heart, making you want to just pluck her right out of the movie and have her be your best friend.

 

PhotobucketWhen Simon Woods first came on the screen, I just stared at him. Here was this handsome, british man, and I KNEW that I knew him from somewhere. All through the movie, I just kept thinking that I recognized his eyes. It wasn’t until my third or fourth run through of the movie that I finally realized who it was. He played Mr. Bingley in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. Knowing that, his character Edward is the complete opposite. It was surprisingly nice to see him play someone that different.

 

PhotobucketIf there was one person that stole the spotlight from the main duo, it would be Peter Dinklage. The more I see him in the things, the more I adore the actor himself. Dinklage’s character Lemon, is a one-eyed reporter determined to rebuild his ego and reputation by exposing Penelope. Dinklage’s attitude that he puts into Lemon is easily one of the main reasons this movie remains on the top of my re-watch list.

 

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Lastly, I get to the two main actors Christina Ricci and James McAvoy, who share some amazing chemistry. Every scene they share is one that causes me to be giggly and girly.

 

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It takes some skill to make a pig nose look adorable, to the point that seeing a picture of Christina Ricci normally right afterward, kind of looks weird… only for a second though. Christina plays the doe-eyed, curious, but slightly sheltered Penelope wonderfully. It’s the perfect blend of sweetness and new-found independence. Her banter with her mother, and her determination to like herself for who she is, makes this character relate-able to all ages.

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James’ portrayal of Max, the down on his luck gambler turned ‘spy’, is definitely a different character that I’ve seen James play before. Max’s outlook on life makes for wonderful contrast to Penelope’s. The way that he find inspiration in Penelope’s “escape” creates a character that not only has flaws, but is actively trying to overcome them.

If you’re looking for a feel good movie with a fantastic message, this movie delivers. The characters are wonderful and the feel of the movie reminds one of an old storybook tale. Curl up with your kids and/or other loved ones, and enjoy this lovely movie.

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