“Godmothered” Review: Enchanted, but with fairy godmothers

Jillian Bell stars as criminally out-of-touch Fairy-godmother-in-training who attempts to force an outdated concept of Happily Ever After onto a widowed Isla Fisher

Starring Jillian Bell and Isla Fisher

Unlike Mulan and Soul, forced to debut on Disney+ amidst a worldwide pandemic, expectations are probably slightly lower for Godmothered, which was always aiming for a Disney+ exclusive release. However, Godmothered is sure to be a hit in the same vein as similarly-themed flick Enchanted, with main character Eleanor providing a lot of fish-out-of-water humour and brazen naïveté that Giselle was also popular for.

Godmothered tells the tale of Eleanor (Jillian Bell), an eager Fairy-Godmother-in-training, who strikes out into the real world when it’s revealed that nobody believes in Fairy Godmothers anymore, so the academy will instead be overturned in favour of becoming a training facility for Tooth Fairies instead. To prove that Fairy Godmothers can still be useful, Eleanor plans to help out 10-year-old Mackenzie, who had written a note asking for a Happily Ever After.

This quest leads Eleanor to a now grown-up Mackenzie (Isla Fisher), whose life is far more complicated than Eleanor has been trained to deal with. Having lost her husband four years earlier, and trying to juggle her career as well as caring for her two children Jane (Jillian Shea Spaeder) and Mia (Willa Skye) who see far more of their aunt Paula (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) than they do their mother, Mackenzie is insistent that she has already had her shot at Happily Ever After. This does not dampen Eleanor’s spirit, however, and she is adamant that she can be of help to Mackenzie, even if her idea of a Happily Ever After is typically outdated.

The ultimate point of Godmothered is how the classic fairytale idea doesn’t wholly fit in with the complexities of modern life. While this was previously explored in Enchanted, through the way that Giselle adapted and changed to the modern world, there is less of a change or development within Eleanor through her role as a Fairy Godmother, and her development is sidelined in favour of Mackenzie’s. While there is a lovely section towards the close of the film where the idea of true love is examined as meaning something different within everyone, there are still common tropes at play, such as a happy ending, a dashing love interest (Santiago Cabrera) and self-care materialising in the form of a makeover.

Ultimately, however, Godmothered is winning. Though it does not buck the trend as much as it clearly thinks that it has done, it features a delightful performance from lead actress Jillian Bell, who manages to portray an earnest naïveté without coming across as annoying. A pleasant way to while away a sleepy evening.

Godmothered is available to stream exclusively on Disney+

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