Holy mother of God.
Do we need another movie about a naïve being from a fantastical realm who, for one reason or another, lands on Earth to teach us lessons? Nope. “Enchanted” with Amy Adams was perfectly fine. So was “Elf” starring Will Ferrell.
Produced by Disney and directed by Sharon Maguire (“Bridget Jones’s Diary”), “Godmothered” is the store-brand version of those more enjoyable films. It’s only useful to an at-home audience that’s run out of other stuff to watch and whose cat is asleep.
Running time: 110 minutes. Not rated. On Disney+.
There is even a hint of “Toothless,” which starred Kirstie Alley as an unwitting tooth fairy who, in the end, is banished to hell in an elevator while Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s a Heartache” blares in the background. That — that! — was better than this.
However, the new holiday film has one gift: Jillian Bell, the hilarious star of “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” who plays an aspiring fairy godmother named Eleanor who’s in a tizzy. Her magical profession is about to cease existing, and the misfit wants to make the most of the time she has left. Hey, sounds like me!
Rule-breaking Eleanor sneaks through the portal from the Motherland to Boston to find a little girl who once wrote a letter to her “fairy godmother,” only to discover that the tyke is now a grown-up with kids — and problems — of her own.
That woman, Mackenzie, is played by Isla Fisher at her least colorful. She’s a struggling local news producer who’s under pressure to create splashier stories. She’s also in love with a flirty reporter, Hugh (Santiago Cabrera).
What exactly can a fairy godmother do to help her? Well, she can flourish her wand and turn some Christmas lights on, and make Mackenzie and Hugh have a spontaneous, romantic waltz at a party. She’s a basic witch.
In one scene, Eleanor sleds into the hot reporter while he’s on air, and the segment goes viral. Hurrah! The klutz gave them exactly what they craved — a hit.
Can’t say the same for the movie, though. Kari Granlund and Melissa Stack’s screenplay lacks originality and smarts, which is a shame given the cast. Besides Bell and Fisher, June Squibb and Jane Curtin are also in this as more seasoned godmothers.
Through the muck, you still get glimpses of Bell’s talent. Even at top Disney energy, she’s a refreshingly easy-going comic. But it’s not enough to salvage this bottom-shelf storybook.
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