Prince Phillipe (Wilmer Valderrama), AKA the world-famous Prince Charming, is betrothed to marry one of his three fiancés – Sleeping Beauty (G.E.M.), Cinderella (Ashley Tisdale) and Snow White (Avril Lavigne). However, as easy and idealistic as his predicament may seem, it is not so simple for the man himself. Phillipe is yet to discover what true love really is since a curse was placed upon him by the evil and bitter Nemeny Neverwish (Nia Vardalos) when he was a baby. When tasked with taking up the life-threatening gauntlet of discovering his real true love, his path crosses with Lenore (Demi Lovato), a thief who has been assigned to help Charming in exchange for glamorous riches. As the two embark on their quest, they begin to discover secrets about themselves that they have been forever seeking. Question is, can they find what they seek before Phillipe turns 21 and is cursed forever?
A children’s fantasy film with a run time of 85 minutes, Charming proves a pleasantly entertaining spectacle, with a steadfast plot and humorous antics, albeit one that never truly charms the audience. Lenore is, without doubt, the most enticing and well-versed character in the film, taking a whimsical and coddled Charming under her wing, rescuing him from precarious situations and appearing to be a really powerful female lead – driven in her aims, skilful in her art. It’s sad, then, that as each scene passes she is slowly reduced and softened into a lovesick maiden, just like the princesses.
There is a similarity in this fairy tale fantasy animation to that of the Shrek fantasy, a sprinkle of flavour added by producer John H Williams, who previously worked on the lovable ogre franchise. The upbeat tempo of the dialogue and action that unfurls makes the story arc tick over nicely as our heroes embark on an adventure not too dissimilar to that of the green Disney star – but who can complain when the formula works?
Throughout the film, musical numbers are interwoven into the narrative, some necessary, others slightly nauseating. The movie features a number of high-profile musicians and singers, perhaps brought in for this particular reason, and it does pay off when necessary, most notably when a half oracle voiced by Sia breaks into a magical sequence that combines beautiful music and vocals with absolutely gorgeous cinematography. Such a moment can take your breath away, but once over, leaves you calling for more. Sadly, it doesn’t follow.
Other songs seem out of place, hardly fitting with the characters and almost unnecessary, while the rest of the plot follows with a fairly routine mechanism, bringing little new to the table.
This all said, Charming will certainly and undoubtedly make entertaining viewing for younger eyes.
Charming is released nationwide on 2nd August 2019.
Watch the trailer for Charming here: