“That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift. When I cried inconsolably through my first hour of life, my tears were her inspiration. Shaking her head sympathetically at Mother, the fairy touched my nose. “My gift is obedience. Ella will always be obedient. Now stop crying, child.”
Guys! ELLA ENCHANTED guys! I LOVE this book SO much! I don’t re-read books. My thought is that are too many books out there! I don’t have enough time to go back and reread ones I’ve already experienced.
This book is the exception. I have read Ella Enchanted AT LEAST 20 times.
The best part about this book was that I went into it not knowing that it was a Cinderella retelling. It was SO COOL that about half way through the book it all of the sudden it dawned on me. It was like this BIG POWERFUL REALIZATION!
When I heard they were making a movie, I seriously got giddy about it every time I thought about it! For an entire year I ANXIOUSLY waited to see this incredibly charming story play out.
And then THIS happened!
via GIPHY #NOTMYELLA!
I will never forgive Anne Hathaway for destroying brilliant, beautiful, loving Ella.
Things the movie got right: There was a girl named Ella who had a “gift” of obedience bestowed upon her at birth. She had a fairy Godmother named Mandy who gave her a magic book. She did have step-sisters and a friend named Aerida. There were elves, trolls, and giants. Oh, and she did fall in love and marry Prince Charmont. (of course)
Things the movie got wrong: EVERYTHING ELSE!!! There was definitely no Prince Charmont Posters, no freezing in mid-air, no boyfriends accidentally trapped in books, no goofy ninja moves, no pop-culture references, absolutely NO 80’s clothes and NO big stupid dance party at the end.
And there was NO evil uncle and his talking snakes. Charmont had perfectly charming parents. WHY? WHY? WHY?!
This movie was my introduction to the disappointment called “screen adaptations of books”. It’s so sad that it’s a surprise when a movie actually does the book any justice.
There are BEAUTIFUL things in this book. Ella is basically raised by an elderly, plain, and kind of chubby Mandy, who adores her- and a father that is emotionally and physically absent. She keeps herself emotionally distanced from other people, because the curse that was placed on her as a child makes her vulnerable to not having her own identity. She finds a friend in a boy named Charmont who happens to also be the prince. They understand each other. He doesn’t make demands – even though he doesn’t know about the curse. Their friendship starts when they are kids- and it slowly blossoms throughout the book as they both overcome their own obstacles, and find themselves. This book taught me what love is. It’s knowing who you are- and being willing to sacrifice your own happiness for the person you love.
Ella has a knack for languages and cultures. She loves learning. She doesn’t love her father’s recklessness in business and choice of step-mother and sisters. She just wants to be free of her curse, but whenever someone orders her to do something she becomes dizzy and physically ill until she complies.
Ella ends up on a journey to find Lucinda, the fairy who gave her “the gift”. But, in a totally inspiring, girl power, way- Ella realizes that she has to break the curse herself. And her love for her true friend is what finally does it.
If I could beg one thing of you, PLEASE! Don’t let your daughters watch the movie before they read the book! And if you want to give them an awesome “WHOA! MIND BLOWN!” moment- don’t tell them that the book is a Cinderella retelling!
And if you haven’t read it, you absolutely need to! Put the movie as far from your mind as possible and start fresh! It’s just a lovely story.
And writing this post has made me Ella Enchanted hungry again. I think I will read it with Lily this weekend. I am so excited!