Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tangled, a movie review

5 out of 5 stars  (Contains no spoilers)
“Mommy, can we please, please go see Rapunzel?  She’s a princess.” My daughter looked up at me with large, imploring eyes.  And in a flash I was back at the old Landis Theater in Vineland, NJ  with my mom, my own little grade school self staring wide-eyed at Sleeping Beauty on the big screen.  Back to the present, my daughter bounced on the balls of her feet like a baby robin as I thought to myself…a new Disney princess movie?  I’m so there.  Time to keep the tradition going.  I raised my hand to my daughter and she slapped me a high five.    
Far from an original concept, Tangled is the age old story of boy meets girl (an equation I shall never tire of, so long as I live).  In this particular story, the boy is a scoundrel and the girl is a princess  (Han and Leia minus the Millennium Falcon).  Again, not a unique idea.  However, this movie was executed so brilliantly, with perfect pacing, that no one will remotely care that this is a recycled plot (or that it’s a cartoon, for that matter).  
From the previews, I was pumped up for some good old-fashioned slap stick humor.  Figured even my boys would get a chuckle.  And Tangled certainly did not disappoint.  I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard.  That was what I had come for.  That was what I was prepared for.  I was NOT prepared to cry.  Yeah, I cried at a Disney movie (not a first by the way—I got a bit choked up when Belle leaned over the Beast and whispered ‘I love you’).  But this?  Tears were streaming down my face.  I had a “please don’t let my husband see this or I am so going to get teased” moment.
And it wasn’t just me.  At a certain scene (you’ll know it when you see it), the entire theater, made up of mostly children, fell silent except for sniffling.  And then a sweet, little voice rose from amongst the crowd and asked, “Mommy, why are you crying?”  And then we all laughed.  I was not the only lachrymose mommy. 
What did I love about this movie?  
Finally, a strong heroine I can enthusiastically cheer for! As a reader of Young Adult fiction, I’ve been so frustrated lately with the lack of good, strong female leads.  And I finally found one.  Ironically, a cartoon character.  Don’t get me wrong.  Rapunzel is sheltered and sweet, but she’s not one to cower in a corner and wait for the guy to save her.  No, a number of times, she saves him.  Refreshing!
It’s a redemption story.  I am a complete and utter sucker for a story of personal restoration.  I mean, come on, we’ve got a scoundrel here.  Of course he needs to be redeemed.  And it was done so magnificently.  Amongst the sea of predictable plots of Disney movies, there’s a part in Tangled where I turned to my husband, with my mouth agape and said, “I didn’t see that coming.”  And my highly intelligent husband admitted he didn’t either.  I LOVE THAT! 
Bottom line:  There is nothing I disliked about this movie.  Nothing.  I cannot say this strongly enough:  Go see this movie.  GO NOW.  Run like the dragon form of Maleficent is chasing you down.  You can thank me later.  Oh, but whatever you do…do not forget to tuck a tissue in your pocket.  J
          -Suzi Ryan


  1. My favorite part was the guilt trip she felt right after she left the tower, so hilarious and such a girl thing!!! i do it all the time. I even felt like spiritually we do it too!!! we are free in Christ then we succomb to guilt again! grrrrr!!!!

  2. 'Tis the nature of our flesh. I've found it much easier to forgive others than to forgive myself.

    So, did you not shed at least one tear at "the scene"?