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Penelope breaks pig-nose curse

Some complain of split ends, while others grumble at a broken nail. More still find ways to despise anything from their eye color to their voice.

Penelope Wilhern, however, is a pig of a different color.

In the newest fairytale introduced to theaters by first time film director, Mark Palansky, the main character introduces a kid-friendly moral wrapped in a shiny package of fairytale, humor and romance.

Penelope offers what everyone wants in a fantasy: an excess of enchantment and a low-maintenance plot.

At the moment of conception, Penelope Wilhern was doomed a cursed life. Her great, great, great, great (or something like that) grandfather abandoned his penniless lover in favor for a blueblood and the girl’s mother seeks revenge. She places a curse on the Wilhern family so the first female heir will be born with a pig face until “she is loved by one of her own”.

So, after a long line of male heirs, Penelope is finally born, donning the turned-up nose and floppy ears of a pig. One can only wonder whether or not she sprouted a curlicue tail.

Christina Ricci stars as Penelope, the 25-year old social outcast who has been locked away in her house by her well-meaning but rather tyrannical mother, Jessica (Catharine O’Hara). Jessica fakes her daughter’s death and now she hopes to break the “curse” by marrying her off to a wealthy son of a blueblood.

Wave after wave of suitors fall for Penelope (and her generous dowry) and then proceed to fling themselves from the second story window once she reveals her piggy demeanor. Throw in one very determined reporter, a twitchy Simon Woods as a suitor convinced Penelope is a monster, and a little romantic tension, and filmmakers end up with a cute if not disconnected fairytale.

Lemon the reporter (Peter Dinklage) and Edward Vanderman (Woods) conspire to expose Penelope’s pig snout. They enlist the help of Max (James McAvoy), who they believe to be a wealthy heir, to win Penelope’s heart in order to capture a picture of her infamous nose.

There’s only a slight problem: Max accidentally falls for the sweet-hearted Penelope.

From here on out, Penelope is a little predictable. She falls in love with Max but his cover-up is blown and he, through a selfless act revealed later in the film, refuses her hand and her dowry even after her offer.

Heartbroken and fed up with her less than encouraging mother, Penelope heads out into the world on her own, where she discovers that the sky is blue, the grass is green and, yes, there is a whole other world outside of the Wilhern estate.

As Penelope experiences a life on her own, she discovers what is most important to her ? loving not only Max and her family, plus her new friend Annie (Reese Witherspoon), but also loving herself just the way she is.

Do not be deterred by Penelope‘s sappy theme. Though the film lacked a cohesive script, the charm of the overall plot and Ricci’s nail-on-the-head performance as a newly independent young woman set a strong foundation.

The film skates on the idea of its concrete role as a fairytale. While Penelope is not as lighthearted as it may appear, it still falls into the occasional clich

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