Who's in It:
Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Ricky Gervais, Sienna Miller, Rupert Everett, Peter O'Toole
The Basics: Danes is a shooting star who falls to Earth. She's lassoed by a young man (Cox) who wants to bring her to the girl he's trying to woo (Miller). A snag in that plan involves witchy Pfeiffer wanting to cut out Danes' heart and eat it so she can be young and beautiful again. There's also a magical kingdom where all the princes of the land are murdering each other in the hopes of being the last man standing and thereby becoming the new king; plus, a princess who's trapped by a witch and turned into a bird and who gives Cox a magic flower. And De Niro is a gay space pirate. Look, I don't create these convoluted plots; I just report on them.
What's the Deal? Yes, it's weird. But it's also funny and kind of cool. Did you like The Princess Bride? Sure you did. Well, then give this one the same shot. It's kind of a girly love story, ultimately, and everyone likes those. Even guys who won't admit to it publicly. And it's from Neil Gaiman, whose sensibility is all about making sure that magical fairy tales are something that adults can enjoy, too.
How Adult: This story definitely has its roots in those old-school fairy tales where bad people were given violent death comeuppances, so this one doesn't make any bones about killing off characters even ones you like. There's also some off-camera sex and entrails-centric animal sacrifice by some witches, De Niro in drag and Pfeiffer as a hungry cannibal. So, you know, fun.
Also? Ricky Gervais: Basically being the same kind of guy he is in The Office. And he wears a funny hat while doing it. He's not in it much, of course, but it's good to see him in any movie, really.
Fake-British-Accent Alert: British and Australian actors seem to be able to handle American accents with almost no trouble at all. But when Americans try the reverse, the results can be bloodcurdling (see Kevin Costner in that Robin Hood movie or Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves in Dracula). The good news here is that Danes is doing one and does not embarrass herself at all.