THE MOVIE: Enchanted (2007)
THE PAIR: Giselle (Amy Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey)
THE MOMENT: A romantic waltz at the Queen’s ball
SPOILERS ahead; read with caution
Ten years ago, a little film sporting Disney’s iconic, shiny type font released in theaters. On November 21st, 2007, a little story called Enchanted opened at the box office. Now, a decade later, it’s still managing to enchant its viewers. Or it is if you’re anything like me.
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I just recently sat down to enjoy a re-watch of this and discovered two things. The film is indeed ten years old (I’m not sure I should admit this, but… I feel old), and yes, this film still does enchant. Coupled with its anniversary, rumors of a sequel swirl (its title is rumored to be Disenchanted, and Amy Adams has discussed there being a script in interviews), so there’s no better time to revisit this film than now.
Today we take a look back at it by spotlighting a romantic moment from Enchanted.
ENCHANTED: THE STORY AND LEAD IN
The fairytale story is about an animated princess who is about to marry the prince with whom she’ll share “true love’s kiss.” Of course, in true animation-perfect-world fashion, this marriage is set to take place a day after the pair meet. Unfortunately for the soon-to-be-princess, Giselle, her soon-to-be-stepmother-in-law-queen is not about to let her stepson’s wife take her crown. Therefore, she banishes Giselle to a world where there are no “happily ever afters.”
Giselle enters a big, frightening and unkind world known as New York City. The only kindness she is shown is by Robert. A lawyer and single father, Robert is about to be engaged to his girlfriend of five years. But unlike Giselle, Robert has no time for fairy tales. Instead, he’s focused on his daughter, Morgan, and finding a sensible partner.
Time passes, and the two begin to feel emotions beyond their respective views of love. As Robert attempts to help Giselle find her way home, he teaches her what real love involves. And in turn, Giselle teaches Robert that sometimes, a little romance isn’t just for the fairy tales…
In time, Giselle is reunited with her prince, Edward. Similarly, Giselle helps Robert woo Nancy, his fiancé. Prior to Giselle’s return home, the two couples end up at the Queen’s ball. For Giselle, it’s an event she can experience with Edward as a “date.” For Robert and Nancy, it’s a night of spontaneous romance Robert didn’t realize Nancy is missing in her life.
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT
The night of the ball, at the event, as Robert and Nancy dance a traditional dance, someone catches his eye. Glancing up, he finds Giselle. In a true “staircase” moment, Robert gazes at Giselle, beautiful in a simple A-line purple ball gown, in wonder.
On the ballroom floor, the two couples arrive face to face.
Robert begins and tells Giselle he’s surprised to see her there.
Smiling happily, she replies, “I’m surprised. You said you couldn’t dance.”
“I said I didn’t,” he begins with a smile, “I never said I couldn’t.”
Awkward introductions commence as Robert and Giselle seem to have eyes only for one another. Shortly after pleasantries are exchanged, the gentlemen are asked to dance with a lady they did not escort to the ball.
Edward leads Nancy to the floor. This leaves Giselle and Robert alone together.
A slow, gentle and romantic song begins to play. Holding out his hand, Robert queries, “Shall we?”
With a mere second’s hesitation, Giselle allows him to lead her onto the floor.
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The music sways and swells as the vocalist begins to sing:
You’re in my arms. And all the world is gone. The music playing on. For only two. So close together. And when I’m with you. So close to feeling alive. A life goes by. Romantic dreams must die. So I bid mine goodbye. And never knew.
On the floor, they face one another and with eyes fixed, they fit their hands together. With a tender look on his face, Robert gently tugs her close. They fit perfectly together as they take on the swaying one-two steps of the traditional waltz. Robert leads them as together they sway and twirl across the floor… and the song plays on, words that seem to mirror their story and emotions, a song as if only for them.
So close was waiting. Waiting here with you. And now forever I know. All that I want is. To hold you. So close. So close to reaching. That famous happy ending. Almost believing. This one’s not pretend. Now you’re beside me. And look how far we’ve come. So far. We are. So close.
Twirling her away from him, Robert then brings her back to his arms, and softly, he begins to sing the words to the song. Leaning in closer, he sings so only she can hear.
…and look how far we’ve come. So far. We are. So close.
Realizing Robert has never believed in romance or grand gestures, Giselle understands what he’s telling her by sincerely singing these words, meant only for her. A beautiful smile passes her face as she too leans closer.
The instrumental music swells, and in a truly magical moment, Robert twirls Giselle across the floor as golden confetti falls from the ceiling.
Dancing across the ballroom floor, no one and nothing else exists in this moment… this is their moment. It’s their love story. Words go unspoken, but their eyes, and touch says everything they cannot say.
The scene is a kind of “story” in itself as the couple realizes the change of heart they’ve had. Both holding back, despite being… so close…
Of course, this is not the end of Giselle and Robert’s love story! An epic battle awaits them. But for now, this dance, simplistic and silent though it is, is an absolutely beautiful example of a first dance that I consider one of the most romantic scenes in cinema.
Tell me about your memories of this film! Is it still a favorite nostalgic film for you? What’s your favorite moment or scene? What would you like to see in a sequel? Sound off in the comments down below!