FILM REVIEW: Charming (2018)

Apparently the females have had their time to shine and it’s time to give some attention to the forgotten hero: Prince Charming. Charming, directed and written by Ross Venokur, begins with three vacuous princesses, Cinderella (Ashley Tisdale), Snow White (Avril Lavigne) and Sleeping Beauty (G.E.M.) who are all betrothed to the same man, Prince Philippe Charming (Wilder Valderamma). As a baby he was cursed with so much charm that every woman in the kingdom falls head over heels in love with him on sight, much to the chagrin of the men in their lives. Being a good guy, Philippe gives attention to all, saving the three princesses and somehow becoming engaged to each one of them despite his lack of genuine interest.

In the days leading up to Philippe’s 21st birthday he must “run the gauntlet” in order to earn true love which means 1) crossing an impassable pass, 2) surviving an unsurvivable attack, and 3) conquering an unconquerable beast. Assuming he can achieve the impossible he must also receive true love’s kiss or otherwise all love will be vanquished from the kingdom. Lenore (Demi Lovato), a thief who is immune from the curse, is bribed into helping Philippe run the gauntlet which she does disguised as a man to conceal her true identify from him. A man with boobs and a clear woman’s voice but this isn’t questioned because she has a fake moustache. GUESS WHAT HAPPENS.

When are studios going to learn that they should not by any means try to emulate Disney? Because they will inevitably fail miserably. Here they even give the three princesses similar clothes and hairstyles to Disney, although they somehow missed the fact that Cinderella was not a princess until after she married Prince Charming (DUH). Instead of the demure women seen in the Disney versions, however, they are all portrayed as airheads who all have legs three times the size of their torsos.

Despite their extremely problematic body proportions, the film generally skips from one cliché to the next with the exception of one Tim Burton-esque scene which feels completely out of place. This was seemingly only included to justify the use of Sia and a Sia song. This is the one good song in the film out of a grand total of three (plus two background songs, one written also by Sia). Why cast pop stars when there is barely any music?

Wilmer Valderamma is enjoyable enough but essentially Philippe is shown to have absolutely no real skills whatsoever on account of being a prince who has everything done for him, and yet the strong female figure can’t help falling for him. This film feels about ten years old, offering nothing new in the slightest. There are a few funny moments, but on the whole it is bland, cringeworthy, and feels way too long despite coming in under ninety minutes. Perhaps kids who don’t know better will be placated by this godawful film, but with the calibre of animation today they may still spot a stinker. I did two minutes in. Charming? This film is anything but.

2 stars

This review was first published on 30th October 2018 at Film Blerg.

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