When the kinetic Rory moves into his room in the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, his effect on the home is immediate. Most telling is his friendship with Michael, a young man with cerebral palsy and nearly unintelligible speech. Somehow, Rory understands Michael, and encourages him to experience life outside the confines of home.
In this modern-day romantic tale, Penelope is about a young girl's inspiring journey, a mysterious family secret, and the power of love. With all odds against her, in order for Penelope to break the family curse, she must find true love with "one of her own kind" and realize the most important life lesson, "I like myself the way I am." Penelope Wilhern, born to wealthy socialites, is afflicted by the Wilhern spell that can only be broken when she finds love. Hidden away in her family's estate, the lonely girl meets a string of suitors in her parents' futile attempt to break the curse. Each eligible bachelor is enamored with Penelope and her sizable dowry; until her curse is revealed. Lemon, a mischievous and eager tabloid reporter, wants a photograph of the mysterious Penelope and hires Max to pose as a prospective suitor to get the shot. The handsome down-on-his luck gambler finds himself falling for Penelope, but, not wanting to disappoint her or to expose his surreptitious ways, he... Written by
"Penelope" opens with Christina Ricci narrating the story to us of how she, Penelope, was born with a curse - a pig nose. The film may seem childish and too fairy tale-like but Ricci speaks with such a soft pleasing manner that she reminds us of the best kindergarten teachers reading to us so we relax and settle in and comfortably enjoy the film.
Then we meet Penelope's mother (Catherine O'Hara) she is everything that Penelope is not: high-strung, over-bearing, intolerant. Of course she's just being a protective mother but she's painted in such a light so the audience can relate more and laugh with Penelope. Most of the supporting characters are cliché but they are done over the top so they are actually funny. At this point I should make a caveat, I am a James McAvoy votary. Such that I would be glowing about his role and performance no matter what, so I will be conspicuously quiet on McAvoy to not over-colour this review.
Listed as a modern-day fairy tale for the entire family, I actually found the movie much more slanted towards young adults (a few jokes would go over kids' heads). This would probably explain the casting of twenty-something and 30-year-old popular actors. I, for one, am glad that they made a film for me with no violence, vulgarity, action or effects and instead filled it with light-hearted, romantic, feel-good messages about loving yourself. And they somehow did that with out being saccharine or sappy.
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