Charlotte’s Web

by Jen

-Directed by: Gary Winick

-Dakota Fanning, Julia Roberts, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey

I’m going to try really, really hard not to borrow from the book and the movie as I talk about it in this review. I’m not going to do the obligatory “Some pig!” bit that has become part of the advertisting. I’m not. I promise. No, really!

All kidding aside though, this movie is nearly as good as I hoped it would be. While the book is a staple of children’s literature, the movie doesn’t quite have the same gentle flow to it that the book has in ample supply. There’s a certain amount of commercializing that you saw coming, but for me spoiled what the movie had to offer. A contemporary audience doesn’t need to be led to the moral of the story by the hand, and is far smarter than I think the studio assumes. There’s also no real need for some of the occasionally crass jokes that show up. While none of them are overly inappropriate, I think it just spoiled it for me. I wanted something very heartwarming and sweet. What I got was sweet with just a touch of heartburn for good measure.

That aside though, those on screen held up their end of the bargain without fail. Julia Roberts is excellently cast as the voice of Charlotte, and her gently mothering advice is given with the appropriate mix of dry humor and love. Dakota Fanning is also equally good as Fern, though she has a far bigger part in the movie than the book even hinted at. But in that regard, it’s ok. While I’ve seen Fanning really do some weak work, this movie reminds us that she still is very much a girl and you can see the wide eyed wonder in which young people see everything.

The moral here is that sometimes a truly sweet story doesn’t need help from Hollywood to be exactly what it is. Sometimes, it can just be itself and assure itself a spot as a family classic for years to come.

-Jenn Untch
Liberty, Missouri
indigojenn at earthlink dot net
Is there a movie you’d like me to review? Let me know!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 26, 2007 at 10:49 am

I thought it was so sad too. I liked the animated movie better than this one. It was more fun and kids defiently love it.


Anonymous February 10, 2007 at 3:13 pm

I think u are wrong about the movie not trying to be mean but that movie was a excelent movie! It has alot more points in the movie that you might of overlooked. Usually movie only have 1 point but this has many but its not overwellming! It shows inner beauty, loving and the bond of friendship and also more. I think u should watch it again and really pay attention! It is a awsome movie and Im not sure what jores your talking about because i didnt hear any bad humor it is sad but not to much and makes you think. This I think was a hillarius and sweet movie!


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