Released Year: 2004
Directed by Tommy O'Haver
Anne Hathaway as Ella of Frell
Hugh Dancy as Prince Charmont (Char)
Cary Elwes as Sir Edgar
Steve Coogan as Heston
In the kingdom of Frell, baby Ella is given the "gift of obedience" by a misguided and obnoxious fairy called Lucinda. This is more of a curse, making Ella do anything she is told to, but only Lucinda can reverse it. Ella's mother tells Ella keep the curse secret; after she dies, only the household fairy, Mandy, knows about it.
Several years later, Ella's father remarries to a wealthy socialite, Dame Olga, who dislikes Ella. Her spoiled daughters Hattie and Olive notice Ella's obedience and begin making her life miserable. Ella stumbles upon Prince Charmont, the handsome heir who will soon take the throne, as he's being pursued by his fan club of besotted young women. He invites Ella to the Coronation Ball, but Olga intercepts the invitation. Hattie and Olive, fan club members themselves, are overcome with jealousy. They force Ella to insult and cut ties with her best friend Areida.
Ella cannot bear her situation a moment longer, and resolves to find Lucinda. Mandy helps by lending Ella her boyfriend Benny, who she accidentally transformed into a talking magical book that can show people in their current surroundings. During her journey, Ella encounters an elf named Slannen, who wants to be a lawyer instead of an entertainer as the laws now require. They are both captured by a group of ogres, who want to eat them. Prince Charmont rescues them and accompanies them to a wedding in the land of giants, where Ella hopes to find Lucinda. En route, Ella opens Char's eyes to the cruelty of the laws oppressing elves and giants established by the acting ruler, Char's uncle Sir Edgar. Char invites Ella to visit the palace's Hall of Records and find Lucinda faster. But Edgar's talking snake, Heston, is spying on them.
At the palace, Heston tells Edgar about Ella's obedience, which Hattie confirms when Edgar offers her Char's hand in marriage. Knowing that Char intends to marry Ella, Edgar orders her to kill him when he proposes, and tell no one. Edgar also reveals that he murdered Char's father. To save Char, Ella asks Slannen to tie her to a tree and to get the giants to help. Ella writes Char a letter, saying she is leaving permanently and cannot explain why, which breaks his heart. Lucinda then appears before Ella, who asks her to undo the "gift" of obedience. Lucinda, offended, tells Ella to remove it herself. She unties Ella, gives her a fancy dress, and tells her to attend the ball, where Char almost immediately takes her to the Hall of Mirrors and asks her to marry him.
Ella is about to stab him with the dagger Edgar provided, when she realizes Lucinda has provided the answer: looking into a mirror, she says, "You will no longer be obedient!" She drops the dagger and Char sees it. Edgar is spying on them, and before Ella can explain, he orders the guards to lock her up, to be executed tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Slannen, the giants, and the ogres all sneak into the castle to rescue Ella. They find out that Edgar is poisoning the crown Char will receive during the ceremony. Ella and her allies burst in just in time to stop him putting it on. Edgar and Heston call for the knights and Red Guards, and a battle ensues. Ella explains everything while fighting alongside Char. Mandy transforms Benny back into a human. When Edgar's forces lose, Heston tries to bite Char, but is stopped by Ella. Caught trying to kill the prince, Edgar admits to the crowd that he killed the King, but says only he deserves the crown. Then, carried away by his own rhetoric, he puts it dramatically on his own head—and promptly collapses from the poison.
Char and Ella kiss; her stepsisters arrive and order her to stop, but she is delighted to refuse. Char once again asks Ella to marry him, and she agrees: "Now that I'll do." The movie ends with their wedding and a musical number. During all this, it's shown that Slannen is in a relationship with a giant, Ella has rekindled her friendship with Areida, and that Edgar had survived. The Narrator announces two more words: The End.
L² Scored: 8/10
Funny, romantic, nice to watch... this movie is based on the same name novel by Gail Carson Levine. It involve magics, fairies, witches, ogres, elves... so many of the fantasy creatures and yet the storyline is strong and presentable. Love Anne Hathaway, she looks so beautiful in this movie~