Last night Robin and I watched Enchanted. At first I was cracking up. Ha ha. Disney is poking fun at its silly princesses and their shallow relationships. And then the princess gets transported to the real world and discovers that life is not so perfect.
So far, so good.
Now, I know this is a Disney film and I shouldn't have been expecting a postmodern rewrite of their entire canon. I also know it is geared towards children. However...
In the "real" world (I use that term loosely as you'll soon see), a father is giving his daughter a book on important women in history. Sure, she wants a princess book, but he is trying to teach her that real women don't just sit by windowsills and sing. They work, invent, and use their brains.
This father is about to propose to a "real" woman; they have a good relationship but it's not showy, head over heels or anything. They love and respect one another.
Then the father meets the princess and suddenly we have a complete reversal. She doesn't learn that life is not a fairy tale--she turns REAL LIFE INTO A FAIRY TALE. People are dancing in Central Park. The father who made fun of the princess for falling in love in ONE day, falls in love with her in TWO days. True love's kiss saves the princess from death. And then the princess and the father exchange their significant others and end up together. The working woman who was so happy when the father injected a little romance into their relationship, happily goes to the cartoon world to become the pea-brained prince's princess. And the original princess in question? She cleans the father's house, cooks meals for the family, takes the daughter shopping and to a spa, and then finishes the film dancing around the father's apartment with her new family.
Now, I'm losing my mind.
Are you kidding me? They make fun of the whole premise and then do it all over again!!!! I thought this was supposed to be different; instead they made it worse because they had intelligent women and even they all jumped onto the romance/fantasy bandwagon.
Why, Disney? Why?
I know I sound cynical, but I would just like ONE MOVIE that actually gives these kids realistic expectations. I know nobody wants to see a normal relationship on the big screen, but did it have to be so shallow and perfect? Princesses are great. Fairy tales can be great. Dreaming is, of course, wonderful. But these little girls need to know that it is possible to be happy in the real "real world" too. It doesn't have to all be an elaborate fantasy. I have friends who are in their mid-twenties and single and frustrated. These types of movies where real relationships are quickly pushed aside for bimbo princesses don't help.
I know I'm fortunate to have a marriage that brings so much joy to my life, and I can see someone being confused by my reaction to these kinds of films considering how storybook some aspects of my life have been, but falling in love with Bryan in high school was hard. We were so immature at times and we had to deal with the realities of being teenagers in love. He is my other half, but I would never tell any future children of ours that it's perfect all the time. That falling in love is easy. That a kiss can make everything right and save the day. That CLEANING A HOUSE AND COOKING A MEAL AND WEARING A PRETTY DRESS WILL MAKE MEN LIKE YOU.
Am I going to have to deal with this issue every year I'm here?