Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Giselle

Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom known as Andalasia, lived a maiden with whom the prince would share true love’s kiss. Her name was Giselle, and she dreamed of holding hands and dancing with her one true love.

Amy Adams is Giselle in Enchanted
Amy Adams is Giselle in Enchanted

How many of you think this is Sleeping Beauty? Show of hands, c’mon. How about Beauty and the Beast? Anyone for Shrek? I threw that last one in to see if you’re paying attention. Disney has the whole princess theme down pat. They even had it working in the movie Frozen. Well, it did have two princesses.

In the film Enchanted however, true love’s kiss is a bigger deal. It’s what brings ever-afterings so happy—that’s what the song says. The opening lyrics declare that to spend a life of endless bliss you’ll just need to find who you love through true love’s kiss. Pretty catchy, don’t you think?

Enchanted Giselle
Enchanted Giselle

This is where Giselle (Amy Adams) comes in. She’s the free-spirited embodiment of pure optimism. Her cheerfulness is so infectious that people dance in the street when she’s around, they sing in full choruses in the park, and even the animals gather to help with her chores. There’s nothing too difficult for Giselle, there’s nothing impossible for her.

That is, until we meet the prince. A real winner here. He believes in true love’s kiss, too. As soon as she drops into his lap, he’s dreaming of being married to her in the morning, finishing each other’s duets, and in years to come, reminiscing of how they grew love through true love’s kiss.

It gets better from here, but I’m not going to spoil it. Suffice it to say, Giselle learns what real love is all about. This includes the pain and the emotion attached to real love, the hardship and work behind it all, and the growth that takes place when real love hits someone who doesn’t expect it.

No matter how many times I watch this movie, and no matter how many times I listen to her voice, I always experience joy knowing I can relive my favorite moments over and over again. If anyone deserves to be part of Women Who Wow Wednesday, it’s Giselle, not because she can slay a dragon in one fell swoop, but because of her sense of wonder noticing the world around her. That childlike innocence captured on film makes her someone everyone ought to know in real life.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

What did you think of Enchanted? What did you think of Giselle?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Amber Atkins

Once a year, hundreds of young girls compete in The Sarah Rose Cosmetics American Teen Princess Pageant all across America. This year, Amber Atkins is one of those girls. A documentary film crew sent to Minnesota will commemorate this occasion.

Kirsten Dunst in Drop Dead Gorgeous
Kirsten Dunst in Drop Dead Gorgeous

Sarah Rose Cosmetics’ motto goes like this: “Making American teens beautiful for over 50 years!” In Mount Rose, Minnesota, Pop: 5,076, a handful of girls sit in the gymnasium waiting to wow the organizers with their talent and intelligence. Actually, only nine girls sit there. The rest of the town’s teen population couldn’t care less.

Before I get to Amber Atkins, let’s talk about the cast of Drop Dead Gorgeous. The movie features a whack of actresses who are now staple names in Hollywood. Girls such as Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Amy Adams and the late Brittany Murphy have made their mark on the entertainment industry since this movie came out in July 1999. Adding to the roster are Kirstie Alley and Ellen Barkin who play the matrons of the film.

With such a recognizable cast, you’d think they’d get in each other’s way, but this dark comedy has a few surprises for viewers who have never seen it. Don’t worry I won’t spoil it. I’ll only touch on Kirsten Dunst’s character Amber Atkins for this week’s Women Who Wow Wednesday series.

Kirsten Dunst is Amber Atkins
Kirsten Dunst is Amber Atkins

The first thing the audience has the pleasure watching consists of a scene featuring a big sign on the outskirts of town that says, “Welcome to Mount Rose, Minnesota, Home of Freda Hegstrom—Minnesota’s Oldest Living Lutheran.

She was Minnesota’s oldest living Lutheran, but now she’s as dead as a doornail. This sets the tone of the comedy.

Getting back to Amber, her two favorite people in the world are her mom and Diane Sawyer. She wishes however, she’d grow up like Diane Sawyer. After school, she has a job like any other teen. Of course, unlike other teens, she works in the town’s morgue. She practices her tap dance routine every chance she gets, including doing hair and makeup on dead corpses.

Many of her competitors take ballet to learn grace, something Amber already possesses. Between a regiment of “tendu, close, tendu, close, tendu close, plié,” the choreographer believes Amber has a chance of winning. It’s a dream of Amber to win, but her main goal is to get out of Mount Rose and become a big-time reporter like Diane Sawyer.

Dreaming big makes Amber one of a kind. In the midst of competition, she keeps her cool and delivers. The best part about Amber is her easygoing nature, taking things in stride and not letting others sour her mood, even if others can be sour on her.

Told you I wouldn’t spoil it for you.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Have you ever seen Drop Dead Gorgeous? What did you think of it? What did you think of the cast involved in the production of this film?