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Arts & Culture

Penelope, or James McAvoy Makes Me Swoon

James McAvoy romances Christina Ricci's Penelope (Summit Entertainment)

By Candace Kavanagh

First, some observations I've noticed about James McAvoy. He is God's gift to romance movies. He can take any part and make every girl in all parts of the world, go "Aaaww," as they drool out of the corners of their mouths. It may be his dashing good looks (even in



where he played the faun Mr. Tumnus) or maybe it's the great amount of talent that he showcased in



Last King of Scotland

  1. He sweeps away every girl -- and even some men I know. And does anyone else notice that he must always kiss his girls in the middle of one of their sentences? Pure genius.

Now onto the movie,


, an offbeat fairy tale about a girl (Christina Ricci) cursed with a pig nose, and finally escaping into the real world where she learns about herself. This movie will make you laugh, smile, cry, giggle, and ask, "what the hell just happened?" This movie pulls no cute sparkly punches nor does it hold on to any meat in its story. This movie isn't a movie, it's a skeleton; the pre-writing you do before you make a movie. It never explores the situations Penelope runs into or gives us anything but the basic "this happened, then that happened." In the end the film gives us the usual off beat fairy tale message of "Accept yourself for who you are?" Haven't I gotten enough of that from the three different Shrek movies? But for some reason Christina Ricci and her pig nose need to tell us this one more time.

So, this movie has no real purpose, unless you're a person who has an overwhelming need to go, "How sweet," rather than actually think. Since I am one of those people, I watched


a second time. What can I say? James McAvoy just makes me smile.

-- Candace Kavanagh

spends her life absorbing celluloid images. She loves every type of film from so-called "chick flicks" such as My Fair Lady and

Legally Blonde, to mind bending thrillers like

Mulholland Drive and

Hard Candy -- with every zombie movie, action flick, musical, and comedy in between.