Ella Enchanted

Rated 2.0 In a magical storybook land, a girl (Anne Hathaway) is endowed at birth with the “gift” of obedience—she has to do whatever anyone tells her to—and when she grows up, she sets off on a quest to find the fairy who bestowed the gift and beg her to take it back. Director Tommy O’Haver’s attempt at a girl-power update of the Cinderella fairy tale (adapted by Laurie Craig, Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith from the book by Gail Carson Levine) is cheesy and witless—a bizarre mix of a live-action version of Shrek and an uninspired skit from a really bad season of Saturday Night Live. O’Haver’s direction is flat-footed, drawing hammy, eye-rolling performances from even the most seasoned comedians in the cast. Still, it may play well with teenybopper kids who hang around malls, saying, “What-ever!”