Charming: A Good Premise Wasted – Netflix Review

We get the reverse story of a classic character, but it doesn’t quite work.

SUMMARY

Phillipe Charming (Wilmer Valderrama) is a prince who was cursed by a fairy named Nemeny Neverwish (Nia Vardalos) to be irresistible to women. However, if he fails to find his true love before his 21st birthday, his kingdom will forever become incapable of love. Seeking to find his true love, Charming proposes to three princesses shortly before his 21st birthday: Snow White (Avril Lavigne), Cinderella (Ashley Tisdale), and Sleeping Beauty (G.E.M.). Thief Lenore Quinonez (Demi Lovato) gets arrested after robbing all three princesses and a royal carriage, accidentally revealing that the three are engaged to the same man in the process. Being the most skillful fighter in the land, Lenore, who is also the only woman immune to Charming, is hired to escort Charming on his challenging quest called “The Gauntlet,” which will supposedly help him find his true love (which everyone believes will be one of the princesses). Disguised as a man named Lenny, she does her best to keep him alive. Unfortunately, Charming is pretty much incompetent at everything, so that will be more challenging than expected. 

Yes, he has a goatee.

END SUMMARY

The idea of being supernaturally attractive to women being a curse is actually a pretty funny concept and the movie almost does some clever stuff with it. One of the best parts of the movie is the revelation that Charming is completely unskilled at anything because fifty percent of the population will do anything he asks at a moment’s notice and most of the other half has to listen to him because he’s a prince. Without ever having had any challenges, there’s no reason he should ever have grown as a person. Additionally, Charming literally has no idea what love really is because he is incapable of having a real conversation with a woman. They all instantly find everything he says enchanting (though, to be fair, he is actually pretty suave at times), so they usually only want to talk about how amazing he is. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t have enough depth to use it fully.

They did do a good fake mustache.

The film, like most fairy tale movies post-Shrek, does try to take some shots at traditional stories, such as having a song by the princesses highlight the more disturbing aspects of their stories or a number of “jokes” about the deep psychological damage that has been done to them because of all of the trauma they have endured. Some of them, like Sleeping Beauty saying Charming did the thing everyone would do to a comatose person and others suggesting things like “calling a doctor” or “just move on and ignore them,” are actually kind of funny. Most of them aren’t, though, and they tend to just remind you that you’re not watching a well-written film. The songs, similarly, are sometimes decent until one of them is so bad it reminds you that this is NOT a Disney film.

In no way are these designs based on Disney.

The worst part, though, is the love story between Charming and Lenore. Not only does it follow the most obvious plotline at all times, it often doesn’t feel reasonable or real. It doesn’t help that they gave Demi Lovato a big love song and the animation on it never seems to match Demi Lovato’s singing voice. I genuinely watched it while saying “there’s no way in hell THAT voice came out of THAT woman.”

You really won’t buy it.

Overall, just not a great film, even though it had a number of decent elements. 

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