Top critical review
A parody of a great book
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 17, 2014
Okay, I thought about this a lot, and the ONLY reason I gave this two stars is because whoever mutilated the book to make the script for the movie must need to survive insanity -- so it's a pity-star.
The good things about this movie:
-A small child might like it.
-The actors did their jobs.
-It's an excellent sleep aid for adults or younger readers who have read the book.
The bad things (***may contain spoilers!***):
-The movie only loosely followed the book.
-They attempted to "modernize" the story with malls, teen girl fanclubs, crazy dancing, horrible clothing for some of the characters, ninjas, exc.
-It might make you bang your head against a wall.
This is not a movie for the fans of the book. In fact, if you have read the book, save yourself the headache and SKIP THIS MOVIE.
It really is almost offending to the story -- characters lose depth, the plot is super predictable, the modernization is insane, I could go on forever. I hate that they made Mandy a ditzy character, and she most certainly does not have a book for a boyfriend! Lucinda was turned into a drunk Britney Spears sort of character, the ogres' butt cracks were hanging out (I assume for comical reasons), Char saves Ella more than Ella saves Char -- not like the book at all -- and while Dame Olga, Hattie, and Olive were unpleasant in the book, they were made into complete morons for the film. I especially feel bad for poor Olive, who wasn't the brightest crayon in the book, she was, however, was a lot sharper than she was portrayed in the movie. She, unlike Hattie, actually ended up getting married even at the end of the book! ...Yes it was for coins and cake, but still, the Olive in the movie didn't seem how to know how to clean her own bottom after a dump, let alone haggle a marriage for two of the things she loved the most.
In the book, Ella's father was not a peach. He gladly left her, without remorse, to Madam Olga's wrath so he could go make money -- his one true love (despite the spell placed on him eventually). In the movie, he seemed to care for his daughter, and was sad to leave her to become a traveling salesman -- not a trader of fine things like portrayed in the book.
The book-characters were portrayed with respect, unlike the movie where they seemed to be as dull-brained and weird looking as possible apparently to get a laugh from the audience.
The ninja's at Char's coronation were both hilarious and horrible -- funny in the point that by then in the movie, you kind of expected something ridiculous like that, horrible in the fact that there wouldn't be red power ranger-like ninjas to descend on ropes at a push of a button to fight Ella and Char as they have a heart-to-heart chat would never have happened in the book.
It just seems like all the magic and heartache and true adventure were stolen from the book, replaced for cheap imitations of the characters and plot in favor of laughs. I hope the actors didn't read the book before they agreed to play their rolls -- and if they did, I am highly disappointed in them.
If you haven't read the book, you *might* enjoy the movie. Small children *might* enjoy the movie. The real-life movie-Olive-like people *might* enjoy the movie.
I was horrified. By the end, I had a migraine that would not go away.
My advise to those considering this movie: APROACH WITH EXTREME CAUTION.