A properly enjoyable Christmas movie for you to watch at home this week.
There is a lot to be said for Disney's careful but tactical destruction of the fairytales they themselves built their foundation on over several decades. Recent releases like Frozen, which told viewers they don't need to look externally to find true love, or Enchanted, which taught us not to follow the rules we've been told will definitely lead to a happy ending... it has been a clever way to update the classic stories through a modern lens.
Godmothered follows that same formula, taking a cornerstone of Disney stories - a literal fairy godmother - and lets it loose in a cynical, self-aware 2020, and for the most part, it works magnificently well.
Eleanor (Jillian Bell) is a fairy-godmother-in-training who is told that the entire school of fairy godmother'ing is about to shut down because the world doesn't believe in them anymore. So she finds a letter sent by the last little girl who asked for the help of a fairy godmother, and Eleanor sets off to the real world to find her and to help her. Little does she know, that letter was sent decades earlier, and that little girl is now grown-up single mother Mackenzie (Isla Fisher), with problems beyond wanting to kiss a boy she used to like.
Not letting a little thing like the fact that this woman doesn't believe in fairy godmothers get in the way, Eleanor makes it her goal to bring more happiness in Mackenzie's life, so she can prove to the Head Fairy Godmother that there is still a place for them in this world.
Playing against type, the usually acerbic Bell is fantastic as the blindingly optimistic, painfully naive fairy, pairing brilliantly with Fisher's world-weary, emotionally guarded character, who is thankfully given some much-needed shading, adding depth beyond "I'm a grown-up, and therefore a grump". Bell's fish-out-of-water antics consistently bring a laugh, and set-up perfectly for an exasperated reaction from Fisher, be it due to an over-eager make-over, or getting wild animals involved in the house work.
Not every aspect of the story works, as both Mackenzie's d-bag boss and her handsome-but-bland love interest never get beyond the first dimension, while the subplot involving her daughter wanting to sing at a big public event means we already know EXACTLY where the final scene of the movie will be taking place.
Never reaching the dizzy comedic heights of Enchanted, we do fully recommend Godmothered for those who are patiently awaiting a sequel to that movie, and thanks to the great chemistry between Bell and Fisher, we wouldn't mind seeing a sequel to this one, either.
Godmothered will be available to watch on Disney+ from Friday, December 4.