Enchanted intrigued me as it hit squarely on one of my favorite narrative dichotomies in Hollywood storytelling… what I affectionately call “Life Under the Sun” and “Life Beyond the Sun” films. These worlds collide in Enchanted in what I think is one of Disney’s strongest achievements to date – cinematically combining elements of their best animated and live productions into a self-effacing pageant that comments on both their wonder, their humor, they’re syrup, and also our own earthly disenchantment without them.
Whether it’s the seemingly naive Giselle or the Carrie Underwood song that closes the film, it’s apparent that we want to believe in fairy tale endings but many of us, like Robert in the film, believe that “The lovey-dovey version that you talk about – it’s fantasy. And one day you have to wake up and you’re in the REAL world.” What if neither of them are wrong?
What if BOTH worlds are true?
While not dismissing the toils and legitimate brokenness of this life, the Christian knows that the Universe is a Love Story, the fabric of our very existence is the pages on which it is written, and the hero is Jesus Christ. Christians can rest in the calm assurance that Giselle has… that everlasting love is real, that happily ever after IS possible. The Christian existence is one of restored WONDER, true love that provides endurance in this life and the promise of eternity. Although sometimes poorly caging God’s wonder in systematics and bullet points, scripture is replete with the true fantastical nature of both our Storyteller AND Savior. As the fairy tale believes in “destiny”, Romans 8 proclaims the beautiful story of God’s love as destined. It goes on to tell us:
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Philosopher G.K. Chesterton describes sanity as the result of a tension between two extremes (in fact, two poles). Christ is the pinion around which these poles spin. This holds the reality of Giselle’s world and Robert’s world in tension. Giselle’s humble assurance transforms Robert, Morgan, Nancy, and saves the Banks’ marriage. If our affection for our Creator, Lord and Savior were more evident – if we were indeed enchanted with our Lord in a deep and genuine way – perhaps more people would hunger after the music in OUR hearts.
For more on the movie, the language of heaven, and (sorry guys) why men have to repent and start loving musicals, I encourage you to listen to the audio review.