Saturday, July 26, 2008


Penelope is a 2008 comedy-fantasy film from Summit Entertainment and Stone Village Pictures directed by Mark Palansky. It stars Christina Ricci as Penelope, James McAvoy and Reese Witherspoon.

A kindly aristocrat suffering from an unsightly curse breaks free from her extravagant, prison-like estate to seek adventure and discover her true self in a romantic, modern-day fairy tale. Generations ago, a witch placed a curse on the Wilhelm family that would result in the next girl being born into the clan having a porcine snout -- and now young Penelope (Ricci) has fallen victim to the vengeful hag's unsightly grudge. When tabloid reporter Lemon (Peter Dinklage) runs a misleadingly frightening photograph of the kind-hearted Penelope, her parents, Jessica (Catherine O'Hara) and Franklin (Richard E. Grant), lock the girl away in a sprawling mansion.

Though it is said that the curse can be lifted if a man of Penelope's status takes her hand in marriage, every man who lays eyes on the girl takes flight at first sight, never to return -- until the arrival of Max (McAvoy), that is. An unrepentant gambler with a heavy heart and an ulterior motive for meeting Penelope, Max is unexpectedly caught off guard by the pig-nosed girl's disarming charm, and suddenly flees before carrying out his nefarious plan.

Now determined to throw caution to the wind and explore the world on her own terms, Penelope makes the acquaintance of independent-minded delivery girl Annie (Witherspoon), who fast agrees to join her newfound friend on the ultimate journey of self-discovery.

I had forgotten that Penelope was on my to watch list until I went to see a friend of mine last weekend who has a pig nose. I know that is horrible to say but she agrees that she has a pig nose and you know its okay to joke about it when her boyfriend does. Although, once in a while you can tell that it gets on her nerves.

The thing is, her pig nose isn't that noticeable, unlike Penelope who most certainly does have a pig nose. However, that pig nose belongs to Christina Ricci, which makes me wonder why is everyone in this movie freaking out so much about her looking like a pig when she really doesn't. I'm sure the filmmakers didn't want to make a movie where Ricci looked like a hideous pig and you could barely recognize her, like Charlize Theron in Monster. It's a family movie so they had to have a fine line or else it would kind of be awkward to have McAvoy make out with a hell beast.

Aside from everyone freaking out over a nose, the movie is like an Asian girl, short and sweet. It's barely 90 minutes long and there is enough romantic fantasy to get through it. The whole cast is great, especially Dinklage (a midget American actor who strangely enough has been in a lot of British movies lately) . I always usually love whatever Ricci is in because she just has a way about her that you just can't take your eyes away from the screen, or her pig nose.

Penelope: 6 out of 10

The DVD has no special features.