movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)
NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Ara who says... "This movie had absolutely nothing to do with the book, with the exception of the characters and the curse. The plot is totally different. This wasn't a bad movie, although I prefer the book. One thing that you must understand is that Ella must follow any imperative statement and so many of the orders are not intentional."
Ella Enchanted opens with a Suessian narrator (this continues throughout the rest of the movie) just talking about fairy tales in general. They then show Ella as a baby with her mother and incompetent fairy, Mandy. They hear Lucinda, another fairy, coming and try to hide Ella so she won't get a "gift" but Lucinda finds her anyway. Ella is crying so Lucinda makes her obedient (she has to obey every command given to her) and disappears. They then show Ella growing up and trying to resist the curse (she has to practice her mandolin, she has to eat cake, etc.) and making friends with a girl who others were making fun of, Areida. Ella's mother dies but before gives her a necklace and orders her to never tell anyone about her curse.
When Ella is more grown up (and played by Anne Hathaway) her father announces he has married a rich lady, Dame Olga, for her money. Dame Olga shows up with her two daughters Hattie and Olive. Hattie immediately puts up her Char posters, to which Ella objects because Char and his uncle have segregated the magical races, and makes Ella give her closet space and her mother's necklace. In school, Ella loses a debate because Hattie makes her, literally, hold her tongue. Hattie is catching on to Ella's obedience.
Meanwhile, Prince Char is riding to a mall opening with his uncle Edgar who has a talking snake Heston. Char complains about how Edgar has separated everybody but Edgar reminds him that a troll, a previously peaceful race, killed his father and so he had to separate the giants, trolls, and elves.
At the mall opening everyone is swooning over Char except for Ella and Areida who are protesting.
Hattie orders Ella to go home and Ella has to leave. Char gets chased by the fangirls and runs into Ella while hiding from them. Char is suprised that Ella isn't like anyone else and Ella tries to talk him into changing laws. Char tells Ella to stay and goes to get her purse from where she dropped it, leaving Ella stuck for him to save later from a runaway cart. Hattie shows up and makes Ella leave and acts all stalker toward Char who runs away.
Back at the mall, Hattie finds Ella again and she and Olive make Ella steal things. Ella gets caught and runs away out gets captured when a guard orders her to freeze. When Dame Olga asks Ella why she did it Hattie makes Ella say that Arienda put her up to it. Olga and Hattie make Ella tell Arienda she can never see her again and that she's not her friend.
Ella gets upset and decides to find Lucinda to break the curse. Mandy shows Ella a book that was her boyfriend that she accidentally cursed. Benny the book talks, shows maps, and can show people but can't tell you where they are. Ella uses this to guess that Lucinda is in the giants' land and sets out to find Lucinda.
The next day Ella gets an invitation to Char's coronation ball
and Olga decides to take Hattie and Olive to the capital city there to try to go for Char.
Ella walks through the woods and sees three ruffians torturing an elf. Ella objects and the ruffians attack but Ella defeats them through a series of commands from the elf. The elf introduces himself as Slannen an elf who does not, as Edgar has ordered, want to be a dancer, singer, or juggler; Slannen wants to be a lawyer. Ella, because of Benny's order, asks Slannen to come with them and petition Char in the capital city, which is on their way. They also make a stop in Slannen's hometown where there is a lot of singing and dancing because of the rule and elves are rounded up to sing at Char's coronation.
In the middle of the woods they meet up with some trolls which capture them due to one's telling Ella not to move. They are about to boil her when Char shows up and saves them all. Ella, under imperative, travels with Char and she tells him he has to take responsibility for his actions. She then shows Char how the giants are being used as forced labor and Char agrees to talk to the giants. Edgar's snake, Heston, has been hiding in a saddle bag and spies on everything.
Ella finds a giant wedding where she might find Lucinda and goes to look for her. Char talks to a giant about the problems with the system. Ella finds out she has just missed Lucinda and wants to leave but Char asks her to stay (he has a habit of telling her to do things and then saying she doesn't have to if she doesn't want to) so she does. One giant orders her to sing so she does of rendition of Queen's "Somebody to Love" with various commands from the audience. One of the giant women takes to Slannen. Char and Ella sit and talk in front of a fire and Char persuades Ella to come look for Lucinda in the census records at his castle and Ella agrees. They do the order-not-an-order thing and kiss with everybody looking on.
The next day they arrive at the capital and go in the castle but Hattie sees them while in a tour. Heston tells Edgar that Ella is dangerous to their "plan" and has dangerous ideas. Edgar tells Ella to go check her records and hop to it and notices something weird about her when she actually hops to the record hall. Ella starts looking in the census for Lucinda but is having a hard time.
Ella's father finds out that the family is in town and meets up with Dame Olga who lies to him about where Ella is. Dame Olga is getting something that sounds like botox done to make her look younger.
Hattie and Olive manage to get an audience with Edgar and promise him information for a reward. Edgar tells Hattie that she will marry Char is it's good and Hattie tells him that Ella is obedient. Char later tells Edgar that he is going to ask Ella to marry him at the same time and place that his father asked his mother.
Edgar then comes to Ella in the record chamber and tells her exactly what Char will do and orders her to kill Char with a dagger at midnight, Ella asks him how he could kill his own nephew and Edgar replies that he killed his own brother so it's not hard. Ella leaves in a hurry, accidentally leaving Benny who gets put in a recycling bin.
Ella writes a letter breaking up with Char then tells Slannen to get the elves, giants, and trolls to come tomorrow then makes him chain her to a tree away from the city.
At the ball Char is sulky over Ella breaking up with him so he dances with Hattie. Dame Olga is of course having weird side effects from the botox.
While Ella is chained to the tree to keep her from killing Char, Lucinda accidentally shows up. Ella asks her to lift the curse but Lucinda gets mad. Lucinda decides to be "nice" and unchains her and gives her a ball gown. Ella has no choice but to run to the ball. She ends up dancing with Char and because Char says to tell him how she really feels Ella confesses that she loves him.
Char takes her away exactly like Edgar said he would and proposes and again Ella has to say what she really thinks but can't tell him about Edgar. As midnight comes she is about to kill him but fights it and manages to free herself. However, Char thinks she was really trying to kill him and Edgar pretends she was part of a plot and has her locked up.
The next day, Slannen finds Benny in a recycling bin and through him sees what happened to Ella so he sneaks in with a bunch of elves, the trolls that attacked them, and the giant Char talked to and the one who has a crush on Slannen. They free Ella and Ella through Benny finds out that Edgar had poisoned the crown for the coronation.
Ella runs in to stop it just in time but Edgar calls in his private troops which everyone fights. Mandy turns Benny back into a man in the middle of the fight. Char fights for Ella even though he still believes she tried to kill him but she explains everything. Char doesn't believe it until Heston the snake tried to bite him. Edgar gives a speech about how he deserves the crown and forgetting it's poisoned puts it on and gets knocked out.
Hattie tries to make Ella break up with Char but Ella laughs at her and takes back her mother's necklace. She then kisses Char and it switches to their wedding where everyone is there, including her friend, and all the oppression has stopped.
The narrator then announces there will be a song and everyone proceeds to do a song and dance number (no kidding, I was laughing at the sheer absurdity of it). The Suessian narrator finishes it.