As it has shown a bit in other reviews, you maybe can tell that I’m not a huge fan of kids’ movies. I’m of the opinion that you can treat a kid like an actual person instead of resorting to lowest-common-denominator comedy like so many children’s films tend to do. Luckily Penelope is refreshingly quirky, heavily stylized, kind of adorable, and above all, not stupid.
While this isn’t exactly a kids’ movie per se, it’s innocent enough, has a low rating with nothing really objectionable, and plays everything rather safely. It’s got a princess of sorts who must go through suitors until she finds her one true love. It’s all very fairy tale. Luckily the stylization of the movie works in its credit helping push the fairy tale aspect to the forefront and ultimately make the film more interesting because of it.
Christina Ricci is completely adorable as the titular Penelope even with her pig nose. Oh yeah, I didn’t tell you? The main character’s problem is that she has a pig nose, which in the grand scheme of things is not that bad. Our dashing hero trying to win her this evening will be played by James McAvoy, who does a good job in just about everything I’ve seen him in, and this also stars a pre-Tyrion Lannister, evil Peter Dinklage as the bad guy trying to expose Penelope to the world.
|Still pretty fetching actually.|
The only issue with the movie is that it gives off a pretty weird message to kids. Spoilers: she doesn’t keep the pig nose – it disappears by the end of the movie. Yeah, don’t worry kids, if you feel okay with yourself, then all your deformities will go away! And it’s kind of weird that the couple doesn’t get together until after she’s super pretty Christina Ricci again. Sure, he kisses her while he still thinks she has the pig nose... but it’s still a bit confused.
Other than that, Penelope is a pretty charming film with a charming cast and is much more appealing than most of the modern kids’ movies you’ll find.