If Drew Barrymore adopted the lovechild of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Tim Burton and then fobbed the kid off on a nanny named Mandy Moore, the end result would be Penelope. Christina Ricci stars as Penelope, a poor little rich girl hiding a horrifying secret—she was born with a pig's nose. And then Rod Serling comes onscreen and explains to the audience about signposts and zones and things. (Okay, that last part doesn't happen, but you get the gist.) Penelope's a fairy tale, which means Penelope spends most of her time trying to find someone who will love her pig-nosey self, or, failing that (here comes the lesson), learning to love herself the way she is.
Thirteen-year-old girls are going to love this movie, and while it's not the good sort of bad (like Never Been Kissed or What a Girl Wants), it does have a few things going for it—like Peter Dinklage, as an obsessed tabloid journalist intent on getting a picture of the "Pig Girl" (he has an eye patch, and it's awesome), and, more importantly, James McAvoy, as the rough-around-the-edges gambler/pianist/love interest. (I'm really holding back here, because quite honestly, James McAvoy is to me what Zooey Deschanel is to boys, and I am nothing if not professional. JAMES McAVOY OMG!!!!)
Reese Witherspoon produces and also plays Annie, a sassy, Vespa-driving courier who befriends Penelope when she runs away to the city. Witherspoon's actually not too horrible, and a little refreshingly dirty looking. But James McAvoy aside, here's the real kicker: The set design and the costumes are adorable. It's like the whole thing was filmed in an Anthropologie, and girls fucking love Anthropologie—it gives them orgasms. Which is a ringing endorsement if I've ever heard one.