“Godmothered” stars Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher, Jane Curtin, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis. Released on Disney+ on December 4, 2020, the film is about a fairy-in-training who attempts to help a young girl, who turns out to be an unhappy TV news reporter.
The film was directed by Sharon Maguire, who also directed “Bridget Jones’s Diary”, “Incendiary”, and “Bridget Jones’s Baby”. The term “happily ever after” only exists in fairy tales for many years, but in some cases, it can also exist in real life. You just have to believe that it exists. Disney+ is at it again this weekend with a film that flips the “fairy godmother” scenario on its head, and no, it’s not a spin-off to the live-action “Cinderella” remake in case you’re wondering. Though it would be interesting if that’s actually the case. I already noticed that this film was coming out while I was doing some research on the upcoming programs for the streaming service. There were definitely some interesting stuff that we’ll be getting pretty soon such as the new “Home Alone” film, but this one, in particular, managed to catch my attention, mostly because of its intriguing take on the “fairy godmother” concept. What can I say? I’m a sucker for things that go “Bippity Boppity Boo”. It took me a while to get to this film due to my mother wanting to see it as well, so for those who wanted me to talk about it, I apologize for the long wait and I hope this review is worth the wait for you. With all that said, let’s get our magic on.
The story takes place in a magical land called the Motherland, where a race of fairy godmothers train to make all of people’s wishes come true. Among them is Eleanor Fay Bloomingbottom (Bell), the youngest of the godmothers who, despite her lack of skills, is very committed to be the best fairy godmother she can be. The Motherland’s school is in danger of being shut down due to people not believing in “happily ever afters” anymore. Determined to show the world that fairy godmothers are still needed, Eleanor travels to the modern world to help Mackenzie Walsh (Fisher), a single mother whose dreams have been shattered. When it comes to its concept, the story is somehow reminiscent to “Enchanted”, another Disney film that offers a modern twist to the fairy tale formula. The only difference is that “Godmothered” is completely live-action. Well, except for the ending. Other than that, both of these films have the main character from a storybook land visiting the real world and discovering its own version of “happily ever after”, along with some self-aware humor to boot. While it didn’t quite capture a hefty amount of magical appeal like “Enchanted” did more than a decade ago, that doesn’t make it a magical disaster. This is another film that relies heavily on the charm of its cast and its message to deliver a cheerful good time for its viewers, even though the plot and the humor were both pretty underwhelming, and that’s okay. Sometimes, we all need to watch something that’s joyful and harmless in order to get away from life’s miserable moments, and “Godmothered” managed to fit into that category fairly well. Jillian Bell is put into the spotlight as Eleanor, and she was quite entertaining. It’s not the best performance I’ve seen from her, but I thought she did wonders in providing some tolerable amounts of charm into her character without overdoing her comedic slapstick route. The only problem I had with Eleanor was how the story developed her. I think there could’ve been plenty of ways to make her into a strong and relatable character, such as focusing a bit more of her training in the Motherland, which sadly also didn’t get a lot of screen time in terms of world building, and showcasing more of her desire to be a fairy godmother. That would’ve make the story and the character a bit better in my eyes, but that’s just me. Isla Fisher was also fine in her role as Mackenzie Walsh, and June Squibb had some decent moments as Agnes, an elderly fairy godmother who assists Eleanor, although her performance was a bit forced at times. The film’s humor had plenty of moments that made me smile a bit, such as the self-awareness of the fairy tale tropes, but they’re not as hilariously fun as the humor in “Enchanted”. I haven’t seen “Enchanted” in a while, but I did remember laughing at that film's self-aware humor a lot. Here, it didn’t do a whole lot to capture that same feeling due to its limited storytelling, but again, its charming attempt was able to prevent it from being a grouchy old non-believer.
Overall, “Godmothered” was delightful enough to cast a heartwarming spell on its viewers, even though its story wasn’t as magical as it could’ve been. From my eyes, it felt like Disney was trying to make this the next “Enchanted”. You know, since the studio is developing a follow-up for that film as of this writing. Unfortunately, it failed to accomplish this tough assignment. However, it did accomplish its goal of being another watchable addition to the Disney+ family, and to me, that’s all that matters. It’s not a fantastic film from Disney+, but it’s definitely not a misfire either. If you and your family are in a mood for a feel-good treat, especially after a stressful day, this film should keep you guys covered.