Coming out on January 5, 2007, Happily N’Ever After contains an interesting premise — a fairy tale rewrite in which Cinderella leads resistance against her evil stepmom who’s trying to take over — as well as two people we know to be talented actors, Sigourney Weaver and Sarah Michelle Gellar. But it will be horrible.
Do you know why it will be horrible? Well, first of all, the presence of both SMG and her husband Freddy Prinze Jr. tells you that it will tank. Despite possessing talent, the two have no business and career acumen, as evidenced by their previous collaborations Scooby Doo I and II. [In fact, SMG’s entire movie career, like Tim Curry’s, is pretty much a string of disappointments, and I think they both need really smart agents to get them in showcases for their special gifts, but I digress.]
Second of all, the producers of Shrek are behind this one. Now, for all that I laughed when I saw Shrek I [not II or III so much], I don’t think that it was as attractive or subversive as people claim. The franchise tries too hard to be clever, but it just ends up reinforcing stupid gender and sexual stereotypes. I smell the same problem emanating from Happily N’Ever After, particularly in its problematic recycling of characters from Shrek. That purple cat thing in HNA looks like Donkey, while the blond prince in HNA looks like the blond prince in Shrek, and even Ella in HNA reminds me of Fiona. Such uncreative recycling cannot be saved even by the flamboyant evil genius of Sigourney Weaver and any acting talent SMG may happen to evince.
I feel sad for SMG. BTVS provided such a star vehicle and showcase for her, but her brainless career choices since then slide her further into disrepute. I respect her acting talent, but I can’t respect her as a person because she’s really not that smart. She strikes me as someone with talents who doesn’t know how to use them, rather than an artist that has knowledge and craft of his or her art. She stands in opposition to David Bowie, who [besides having way more experience than she does] just emanates wit, intelligence, insight and a dry sense of humor in relation to his art. He would be a perfect example of an exemplary celebrity, except that he smokes.