Critic Consensus: Though Penelope has a charming cast and an appealing message, it ultimately suffers from faulty narrative and sloppy direction.
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Critic Reviews for Penelope
A precocious fairy tale made for and starring people too old for whimsy
While uneven, this Ugly Duckling redux is hipper and funnier than a Disney movie, and the positive message to young girls can't be discounted.
The semi-satirical treatment of celebrity culture, as Penelope is treated first as a tabloid sensation then a media darling, is lame and dated.
Sweet as gingerbread, Penelope deserves to find an audience; those with a taste for happily-ever-afters should look for it, before it too-quickly disappears.
Director Palansky and screenwriter Leslie Caveny seem to have many of the right ingredients for creating something beguiling, but the film is, finally, surprisingly pedestrian. What a shame, with all these good performers.
Audience Reviews for Penelope
Sweet, fairy tale type movie. Resse Witherspoon is barely in this, which surprised me, but quite honestly Christina Ricci and James McAvoy steal the film anyhow. It has a great message to it and is a film all ages would enjoy. 4/5/15. Wow, sounds like I enjoyed this a lot more on the first viewing. A few years have gone by and I decided to watch it again. It's still an okay movie, but nothing great. Certainly not the 4 stars I originally rated. Reese Witherspoon is actually quite grating here, considering her small role. (Even though the character is nice). The whole thing is far fetched (obviously) and I don't know that I really felt anything for Penelope. This felt to me very much a family movie fairy tale. Like Enchanted. So I guess for a fan of that genre, I would recommend it. Not so much for myself though.
Adorable and 3/4. Funny and effective social satire about beauty, fame, and marriage. Christina Ricci is a lovely-locked if bobbleheaded vision, and James McAvoy is a shaggy-haired dream.
It seems a bit ridiculous that a pig nose could cause people to cringe in horror and jump out of windows (especially considering the amount of ugly people in this world), but this decent little fable-like comedy has a sweet moral message and makes the best of a simple idea.
|Penelope Wilhern:||I felt the rush of a thousand heartbreaks.|
|Jessica Wilhern:||No, you ran! It was you this time.|
|Penelope Wilhern:||He just stood there, staring at me. No one's ever just stood there before.|
|Penelope Wilhern:||Once the Queen is dead, the King is useless.|
|Johnny/Max:||What's that about?|
|Penelope Wilhern:||I don't know. Maybe he's too depressed to fight. He really loved her, you know.|
|Penelope Wilhern:||I like myself the way I am!|