With the world feeling more of an uncertain place than ever before, it is a comforting thought to imagine someone watching from above. When I was a child, I imagined fairy godmothers creating a master plan of how to help each and every person with beautiful carriages and fancy dresses.
Later, influenced by my Catholic school education, I decided there were guardian angels who planned the exact moments to intervene to make each person’s life better. I envisioned them choosing this moment and not that one, always knowing how small changes could influence a person’s path. Being eternally watched over was reassuring enough to help me fall asleep on even the darkest nights.
Fairy godmothers and guardian angels can feel less-than-realistic when the world is in pain. When purpose is hard to find, sometimes the idea of someone looking over you can appear in more concrete ways. A message appears in my inbox. It is an old friend from over a decade ago. It would be great to catch up, you look successful in all your photos, and I’m glad you’re doing well, she says.
A wave of memories passes over me. Taxi rides in New York City, making our way closer to our dreams, and working on three movie sets together in middle-of-nowhere locations. I am jolted with the realization that my path is not that far from the goals I had ten years ago. Those sky-high goals transformed into something tangentially different, but not entirely unlike me.
Reaching out to others in this time is powerful. Your message may not be the same as a fairy godmother or guardian angel looking over others, but connections matter. A simple gesture of clicking send in your messages can be a reminder that there is a greater good and purpose for each person.
It was unexpected that one message reminded me of my belief and faith that someone is looking over us all. Speaking of unexpected endings that serve a greater purpose, my thoughts began to flow on this topic as I watched the screener for Disney+ ‘Godmothered.’
Jillian Bell plays a fairy godmother-in-training, Eleanor, who helps Mackenzie (Isla Fisher) find her happily again. Not her happily-ever-after, but her happily.
Eleanor is a very unsuccessful godmother whose magic is Oh My Gourd! embarrassing. Before I throw in more pun(kins), know that there are several badly smashed pumpkin scenes in the movie. Since her magic is supposed to be terrible, the visuals are not as incredible as they could have been. The movie did have a few moments with the potential to be visually impressive, but watching the advanced screener online meant that I didn’t get the full visual quality that you can get on Disney+.
Finding our happily again is something that all of us could use at this time. It is normal for happily to come and go as the headlines share news that goes from optimistic to catastrophic with one scroll of the mouse.
Happily is always nearby. It can find us in unforeseen moments and in serendipitous ways. We may not be able to become the most successful godmothers. We have no magic. However, we all can create wand-erfully meaningful moments for others we don’t know well or haven’t seen in years. Being a true inspiration for others is what brings Eleanor joy, and that can be true for all of us now too.
5 Fun Facts about Disney+ ‘Godmothered’
Check out five fun facts that Disney+ shared about their new movie ‘Godmothered.’
The role of happily ever after changes.
Says producer Justin Springer, “That notion of redefining what ‘happily ever’ after might mean in a way that’s more practical and real in our regular lives. That sometimes you have to take control of your own fate and become your own fairy godmother and find that happiness.”
This movie has heart!
Fisher explains, ”I loved the emotional arc of Mackenzie. How she begins as a woman who is sort of self-sacrificing and putting her kids’ needs first and really trying to heal herself after the death of her husband. She’s frustrated emotionally because she is trying to raise her children but she can’t be vulnerable in front of them. She needs to be in charge and sort of models someone who’s coping while secretly she’s heartbroken over the death of her husband. And to see her awakened by this fairy godmother into a person who can have fun and occasionally spoil herself, who learns to love life again.”
There is magic, but special effects aren’t the focus.
“There’s gonna be some big set pieces in this film, but I think it’s funniest when it’s done in a small way like when it’s Eleanor trying really hard to do her magic and it not working out exactly the way she thought,” says Springer.
It’s a workplace comedy.
Springer explains, “Local news is always quite hilarious. We spent a lot of time around the office watching videos of stories that are told on local news around the country and we’re gonna leverage some of that in our film as kind of a comedic runner. Eleanor’s story plays into that as she’s this character who’s coming into the world and finds her way into the center of these news stories and that makes them quite comedic.”
The movie is set in Boston.
Because the story is during the holidays, they envisioned ‘Godmothered’ taking place in a city that would have a very beautiful, very Christmas-y, feel to it—a winter wonderland with sparkly, twinkling lights. After considering various cities, they settled in Boston.
Production Notes From Disney
Disney’s ‘Godmothered’ is an all-new magical Christmas comedy in the classic Disney tradition, starring Jillian Bell and Isla Fisher. Set at Christmas time, ‘Godmothered’ is a comedy about Eleanor, a young, inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training (Bell) who upon hearing that her chosen profession is facing extinction, decides to show the world that people still need fairy godmothers.
Finding a mislaid letter from a 10-year-old girl in distress, Eleanor tracks her down and discovers that the girl, Mackenzie, is now a 40-year-old single mom (Fisher) working at a news station in Boston. Having lost her husband several years earlier, Mackenzie has all but given up on the idea of “happily ever after,” but Eleanor is bound and determined to give Mackenzie a happiness makeover, whether she likes it or not.
“Godmothered” also stars Santiago Cabrera, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Jane Curtin, June Squibb, Jillian Shea Spaeder, Willa Skye, Artemis Pebdani, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Stephnie Weir. ‘Godmothered’ is Directed by Sharon Maguire and Produced by Justin Springer. Diane L. Sabatini, Tom Pollock, Ivan Reitman and Amie Karp serve as the film’s Executive Producers.