- Directed by Sharon Maguire
- Written by Kari Granlund and Melissa Stack
- Starring Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher and Jane Curtin
- Classification PG; 100 minutes
What happens when you pair two of Hollywood’s funniest, and filthiest, comic actors? Apparently a squeaky-clean Disney+ fantasy in which neither performer is allowed to wiggle an inch past PG territory. But maybe we shouldn’t feel too bad for Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street, Brittany Runs a Marathon) and Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers, The Beach Bum). At least the new movie Godmothered offers both women a chance to co-headline a movie, which is at least an acknowledgement of their respective, and consistently underrated, talents.
Still, I couldn’t help but wish Bell or Fisher would drop an F-bomb, or worse, as they treaded the super-safe Disney+ waters. Mostly because it would add some much needed sizzle to director Sharon Maguire’s family-friendly tale, which places too much responsibility on the charms of its leads to compensate for a weak, stretched-out story and surprisingly weak visual effects.
After fairy-godmother-in-training Eleanor ventures into the real world to prove herself, she connects with single-mother TV journalist Mackenzie, who once dreamed of pixie dust and happily-ever-afters before tragedy struck. Think of Disney’s own, much more engaging Enchanted meets Mary Poppins (or, more accurately, Mary Poppins Returns). There are more than a few good ideas stuffed into Godmothered’s pumpkin carriage, just not enough whimsy to fuel the gourdmobile to the ball.
At least Bell and Fisher make the most of their screen time, with each playing off each other like close friends simply thrilled for the opportunity to frolic in the film’s ridiculous fantasyland. Sure, the film suffers from what seems like a tacked-on-after-shooting narration (by an elderly godmother played by June Squibb) and truly eeeeeegad VFX (you’d never see a Disney theatrical production with such shoddy CGI). But its leading performers might make you, or your kids, believe in magic for a minute or 90. Now, someone please cast Bell and Fisher in their own Jump Street spinoff, dammit. I mean, darn it.
Godmothered is available to stream on Disney+ starting Dec. 4
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