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Stars: Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Catherine O'Hara, Peter Dinklage, Richard E Grant, Reese Witherspoon, Simon Woods, Russell Brand, Ronnie Ancona, Lenny Henry, Michael Feast, Nigel Havers, Nick Frost

Director: Mark Palansky

The first thing that needs to be faced watching this amiable teen-oriented contemporary fairy tale is getting used to the fact that that while its setting is patently contemporary London (the film was shot in the UK) every character speaks with an American accent with varying degrees of credibility – apart, that is, from American actors Ricci, O’Hara, Dinklage and co-producer Witherspoon, who turns up briefly in front of the camera in a minor role. Once you recover from the culture shock of coping with so many strange ways of speaking, there’s plenty of easy enjoyment to be had from the tale of a young girl (Ricci) who is born with a pig’s snout for a nose as the result of an ancient family curse, a curse that can only be broken when she is loved by ‘one of her own kind’…

Which, of course, is what eventually happens but not before a lot of young men have fled screaming after seeing Ricci’s porcine features. Until, that is, McAvoy arrives on the scene after being hired to impersonate a would-be suitor by venal tabloid reporter Dinklage. Happily, innate charm, a sly sense of humour and engaging performances elicited by debut feature film director Palansky from Ricci, O’Hara, McEvoy and Dinklage make the heroine’s somewhat predictable progress towards the foreseeable happy ending pleasantly enjoyable.

Alan Frank

UK/USA 2006. UK Distributor: Momentum. Technicolor.
93 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 31 Jan 2008