Fairy Tale: A True Story

Bomb Rating: 

If I go to see a movie titled "Fairy Tale" -- and let me be frank here for a second -- I'd better see some god damn fairies. Some poor, tortured special-effects peon at ILM had better have the cruel pole of executive oppression shoved so far up his ass that he's spitting out fairies like a rabid camel.

Somehow, director Charles ("Where Angels Fear to Tread") Sturridge is under the impression that the fairy "mystique" is all that's really important and that he shouldn't allow too many actual fairies to be visible to the audience. In fact, about all we see of them is a single fairy which shoots across the screen like a hellbound mosquito about halfway through the film. Not coincidentally, this noble commitment to "mystique" also saves Charles about a billion dollars in special effects costs.

The hidden costs of this decision, however, can be found in theater wear-and-tear, as every child under twelve runs around the theater screaming like a banshee because he or she doesn't have anything better to do. If there's anything worse than watching an English twit trying to get to the point of something, it's watching a four-year-old American child watching an English twit trying to get to the point of something.

The point involves a story based on two young girls, Elsie (Florence Hoath) and her cousin, Frances (Elizabeth Earl), who, in the summer of 1917, supposedly take some convincing photographs of fairies in their backyard. These photos come to the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Peter O'Toole) and Harry Houdini (Harvey Keitel). Sir Arthur even goes so far as to write about it, bringing the girls to the attention of all England.

In addition, Sturridge pulls an obvious faux pas by failing to feature all the cute female fairies naked. Unless there's some kind of fairy sweatshop down in Costa Rica where the fairy underclass is forced to work sixteen hours a day for crumbs, I think we can afford to indulge in just a little fairy exploitation to keep audiences engaged.

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