Charming parents guide

Charming Parent Guide

No magic wand is going to turn this cinematic trash pile into a good movie.

Overall C

Netflix: An irresistible prince has been breaking hearts his whole life, and having a good time doing it. But now he has to settle down...with one of the three women to whom he's become engaged.

Release date January 8, 2021

Violence B
Sexual Content A-
Profanity A-
Substance Use A-

Why is Charming rated G? The MPAA rated Charming G

Run Time: 85 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Prince Phillippe Charming (Wilmer Valderrama) lives with a terrible curse: every woman who sees him falls in love with him. In order to break the curse, Charming needs to find his true love before his 21st birthday. With the help of wanted thief Lenore (Demi Lovato), Charming embarks on a dangerous quest to find his true love and save the kingdom.

You know that feeling where something is just so stupid you can’t help but laugh? That was my experience viewing this sorry excuse for a movie. I didn’t actually laugh at any of the jokes (with one exception), but I did laugh at the ridiculous plot points, nonsensical character motivations, and terrible acting. How did so many big (relatively) name actors get roped into this trash pile? And how are almost all of them so gosh-awful? Demi Lovato has never been a good actress. (Even when I was in junior high, I recognized her lack of talent and I had pitifully low standards back in the day.) Just because she can sing does not mean she can carry a whole production. The rest of the cast is lackluster, with the exception of John Cleese, who provided my only genuine laugh in his small role as the executioner.

The basic premise of the story is decent enough and there’s a lot of room here for subversive storytelling, but that opportunity is squandered in a script with little clever or inventive material. The main villain (who doesn’t actually do anything until the last ten minutes) has the worst motivation I’ve seen in a long time: the guy she had a crush on married someone else, so she turned to dark magic and became evil. Like, what? That’s lazy and problematic writing right there. Also, the plot falls hard into the “marry a man you just met” trope that Disney has been getting into trouble with for decades. I think they were trying to be modern by making the main female character independent and heroic, but the muddled message of the story is that she needs to be less independent and become more “feminine”? I think? It’s confusing. Also, the movie implies that she’s a bad person because she accepts fair compensation for a job she was hired to do and that’s a whole other can of feminist worms. And since we’re discussing problematic elements, the only people of color in this film belong to a cannibalistic tribe of giants that live in the forest. Ouch.

Maybe I’m having a hard time figuring out the message because I was so distracted by the fact that the mouths don’t match the words at all. I initially thought the film was dubbed, but it’s not. Charming was made in English; the animators just couldn’t be bothered to make an attempt apparently. Another technical complaint is the sound mixing. The dialogue, music, and sound effects are all on completely different volume levels. The animation itself isn’t the worst, but it’s obviously low budget. There are some interesting visuals, but the ambition of the storyboard artists is way beyond the capabilities of the animation.

Ok, I’ll stop complaining now, this is getting long. In short: don’t waste your time. Charming borders on unwatchable for adults, and it has some questionable messages for children. There are a lot of great fairy tale movies out there, but this is not one of them.

Directed by Ross Venokur. Starring Demi Lovato, Wilmer Valderrama, and Sia. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release January 8, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for Charming

Rating & Content Info

Why is Charming rated G? Charming is rated G by the MPAA

Violence: Slapstick violence throughout including crotch hits, falls, throws, punches, and kicks. Arrows are shot at people multiple times. A man is hit in the head and passes out. Discussions of cannibalism. The prince is set to be executed and goes to the gallows.
Sexual Content: Kissing between adults shown frequently. A painting of Prince Charming is shown that depicts him as “The Birth Of Venus” -nude but covering his crotch.
Profanity: Some mild insults such as “idiot” and “insane”.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.

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Charming Parents' Guide

Why is Lenore so hesitant to open up to Charming? What happens when she takes a leap of faith? How can we open ourselves up emotionally to other people?

Home Video

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John Cleese provides voice talent for another (far better) animated fairytale film – Shrek 2.

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