Ella Enchanted (2004) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (Two Beers) –

Anne Hathaway has had a very interesting career ever since her film debut in The Princess Diaries back in 2001.  Since then, she has received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Rachel Getting Married and won the Oscar for her supporting role as Fantine in Les Misérables.  Many people still admire Hathaway for her portrayals of very independent princesses.  Ella Enchanted is a delightful family film because it features one of Hathaway’s most iconic roles while also having the enchantment of a modern-day fairy tale.

A Toast

Anne Hathaway delivers a very underrated performance in this film since it is a family film instead of a major awards contender.  In spite of its juvenile qualities, Hathaway still manages to believably portray what life is like for her character, Ella, after the fairy godmother Lucinda cursed Ella with the gift of obedience.  The trials and tribulations that Ella has to endure reveal how difficult it must be for someone who constantly succumbs to the demands of others.  On a metaphorical level, Ella represents the person whom other people might try to take advantage of simply because of the kind and helpful nature of such individuals.  The modern aspects of this fairy tale reveals the fundamental fact that listening to what other people say is not always the best way to live.

Beer Two

Ella might be a modern-day Cinderella, but Prince Charmont is very flat and stereotypical knight in shining armor.  In fact, Prince Charmont hardly does anything heroic given the flatness of his character.  Part of the reason for this is because the film hopes to teach young girls that they do not need to wait to be rescued.  That is a very great lesson for women, but it still would have been nice if the prince actually did something more meaningful than just look like a pretty boy.


Ella Enchanted will always remain one of Anne Hathaway’s most memorable films.  Hathaway really knows how to play princesses with spunk, which she did in The Princess Diaries and its subsequent sequel.  It is also interesting to know that in the beginning for her career, Hathaway played the really independent princess, Mia Thermopolis, but she later assumed the roles of struggling women, like Kym in Rachel Getting Married and the literary character Fantine.  It is almost as if Ella was a transitional role for Anne Hathaway as she moved from comedic films to more dramatic parts.  Nevertheless, Ella Enchanted is the best blending of both comedy and drama for Hathaway, and she even did all of her own singing!  Great job, Anne!

Ella Enchanted (2004) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: during every classic fairy tale reference

Take a Drink: every time Anne Hathaway sings (and cheers when she sings “Somebody to Love” by Queen)

Drink a Shot: whenever Ella obeys the commands of others (but don’t do this literally)

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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