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Ella Enchanted review

This perky little romp takes its cue from the likes of The Princess Bride, Shrek and A Knight's Tale, spicing up its fairytale format with knowing nods to the modern world. Happily, though, all the Botox gags and Queen songs don't smother the story, which sees magic-kingdom dweller Ella (Anne Hathaway) wrestling with a fairy's `gift' that forces her to obey all orders.

You can imagine the filthy fun the Farrelly brothers would have with this idea, but helmer Tommy O'Haver (Get Over It) keeps things clean, his sneakiest move the inclusion of a smart civil-rights subtext ("'Say no to Ogrecide!'").

Not that this is worthy fare, bustling along in a storybook spirit that's well served by cheap but cheerful FX (a la Spy Kids) and a lively, star-filled cast. Cary Elwes' scheming throne-sitter and Joanna Lumley's evil stepmum are stand-outs but it's Hathaway who holds the centre, the Disney princess du jour offering a suitably enchanting turn.

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