A typical biopic that tells the story and captures the charm (albeit in the most superficial of ways) of an interesting and unique figure. The problem is that its telling of the story is mundane and strangely empty and there's nothing in the end that you can take from it. Its a normal and average film by all accounts and sometimes that's enough but not with a biopic- if you have an interesting person, you'd better have an interesting film for them and this is not it.
Its far too 'laughs and smiles' at first which I can only awesome is not how it was for a woman trying to publish a book in the early 1900s. It takes the shape of a romance for the most part and its achingly obvious and predictable in its depiction of that relationship but its still not terrible to watch, I wouldn't say engrossing but it adequately passes the time.
The performances fit the feel of the film which means that they don't demand much from us, neither does the script but its watchable if you can deal with its many mundane aspects. Zellweger seems to have received a lot of the criticism but I don't think her performance is any more 'kids movie' than everyone else's here. Sure, it certainly fails as the kind of performance we expect in a biopic but that isn't solely the fault of Zellweger- its the fault of the bland and extremely limited film she happens to be in. No actress could save this film, Zellweger's mistake was agreeing to be in it. (McGregor's mistake was the same along with the moustache by the way.)
It certainly had the feel of a family film and I can see younger viewers taking an interest in it along with it being relatively fine for the whole family. It looks to have been aiming for a very typical film of sorts and that's not an insult- its well-executed and meets the requirements of such a film but biopics should never be just typical in my view.
There's not much imagination to it which is a shame considering its topic, in that sense its a pretty poor representation of Potter- its by all means acceptable to watch, nothing more, but its definitely a bit too tidy and neat to be beyond average in any way.
Its overflowing with twee here and the story in the end is neither compelling nor that interesting and that's another disappointment with this one. At every step it keeps itself covered and by the end of it its struggling to breathe and stuck at a standstill. The viewer is left with a similar feeling and it does make it hard to deal with for an hour and a half. That's the real problem with this one- I didn't expect anything serious from this one and I guess the tweeness etc. would appeal to some but its still not an interesting film- the romance is straight out of the 'movie-making for Dummies' introduction and the script is no better. The fact that the performances happily join in with this feel is the nail in the fluffy coffin- its not a successful fairytale story because it follows every other fairytale story and no good fairytale should lack imagination but this one feels ultimately lifeless.