Godmothered

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Godmothered Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Contemporary twist on fairy tale has mild language.
  • PG
  • 2020
  • 109 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 14 reviews

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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Stands out for positive messages.

Educational Value

The film questions traditional fairy tale components and has a message of diversity and acceptance.

Positive Messages

Life isn't as simple as "happily ever after." True love can come in many different forms. The real world isn't a fairy tale, and normal life is good enough. Traditional notions of love and happiness are ripe for reimagining in the modern era. Teenagers need the support of the adults in their lives. People can overcome the loss of a loved one, as well as grief and anxiety. 

Positive Role Models

Eleanor means well and has a sweet innocence about her. She fully believes in the magic of a fairy godmother and the storybook formula of true love and happily ever after. Mackenzie is in a rut since the death of her husband. She's not caring for herself, which makes it hard for her to care for her daughters, who spend too much time on screens. The teen daughter suffers performance anxiety since her dad, with whom she used to play music, passed away. Mackenzie's sister, Paula, is a helpful second mom to the girls. Mackenzie and her workmate Hugh have higher goals for serious news coverage than their boss does. Some diversity in cast.

Violence & Scariness

Mackenzie's husband was killed in a car crash. Eleanor falls and bumps into things with frequency. She knocks Mackenzie and others over as well and accidentally shoots a billiard ball into someone's head. She has an allergic reaction to shellfish and has to be shot in the thigh with an EpiPen. When a group of boys throw a snowball at June, Eleanor retaliates by dumping a bunch of snow on their heads. Mackenzie and Hugh's boss is a bully.

Sexy Stuff

Mackenzie and Hugh talk about feeling lonely and, in a seeming euphemism, sometimes wanting someone to come "shovel my driveway." The pair dance at a party and flirt with each other. The fairy godmother formula for happiness involves, among other things, true love.

Language

Fairy tale puns like "mother of fudge," "son of a butterscotch," and "oh my godmother." "Idiots, "weirdo," "freak," "Oh my God."

Consumerism

Brands noticeably seen or discussed include Audi, VW, Peterbilt, Greyhound, Dominos, Burning Man, Game of Thrones, iPad, Facetime, Boston Bruins, YMCA, DeLuca's Market, The Sound of Music.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults, including a fairy godmother, drink beer and a lemon drop shot at a bar. A woman asks Eleanor if she's "on drugs" and the fairy godmother says homeless men offered to let her stay with them if she didn't mind "sharing knitting needles." Mackenzie has to use an EpiPen on Eleanor when she has a reaction to shellfish.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Godmothered is a contemporary twist on the traditional Cinderella tale. In this case, the story is told from the perspective of a slightly bumbling fairy godmother-in-training named Eleanor (Jillian Bell). Glimpses of more adult humor -- shots at a bar pool table, a euphemism for sex, and a misunderstanding about sharing "needles" in an alleyway -- will likely fly over younger viewers' heads. Same goes for the movie's subtext about fear-mongering and trivialization in the news business, which is played for humor. What will stick is Eleanor's sweetness and humor and her total belief in fairy-tale concepts like princes, princesses, castles, carriages, magic, love, and happy endings. All of which get thrown into question in a lighthearted way that's meant to show kids that true love can come in many different forms and that happy endings aren't only about a man and a woman getting married. Young viewers may also connect with two children who are struggling in the wake of their father's death. Expect a few salty fairy-tale puns like "mother of fudge," "son of a butterscotch," and "oh my godmother." Language also includes "idiots, "weirdo," "freak," and "oh my God." Eleanor has an allergic reaction to shellfish and has to be shot in the thigh with an EpiPen.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byrachaeljlinton January 1, 2021

Requesting more detailed reviews

The story is simple, not fantastic, but mostly cute. As other reviews have said, there is a brief scene at the end that shows a same-sex couple. There is also a... Continue reading
Adult Written byLeslieSpinks December 10, 2020

Total Garbage

Don’t waste your time on this. Bad acting, vague story line, and typical agenda pushing. Disney, please stop trying to be woke and go back to good story telli... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycats3332d December 4, 2020

nice

really its a big plot twist and its not like what you think but its not a bad movie and also its magical
Teen, 13 years old Written byAnna B. December 7, 2020

It's okay

This movie was okay. It started of funny, but then at the end it started to get worse and worse, but at least there was no prince.

What's the story?

Eleanor (Jillian Bell) is a fairy godmother-in-training in GODMOTHERED. When she discovers the training school is in danger of being shut down, and all the godmothers made tooth fairies due to a decline in a call for their services, she escapes "Motherland" to track down a last unfulfilled request from a 10-year-old girl. However, Eleanor discovers that the girl, Mackenzie (Isla Fisher), is now a widowed adult with two kids, and Eleanor is woefully unprepared for both the realities of city life and some of the necessary skills to be a fully competent fairy godmother. Still, her faith in magic and happy endings will drive her to help Mackenzie and her daughters to the best of her abilities. All of them will learn new lessons about life, love, and happy endings in the process.

Is it any good?

Godmothered aims to turn the fairy tale trope on its head, and it succeeds to a certain degree, but that doesn't make this film any less predictable or more realistic. In fact, Eleanor's closing-act tribute to diversity, which offers a contemporary twist on the ideas of "true love" and "happily ever after," isn't backed up by the rest of the movie, which feels pretty traditional in both characters and storyline. Riffs on the classic tale of Cinderella are fun, and Bell's charming central performance keeps the film afloat. Fisher and Santiago Cabrera as her love interest, Hugh Prince, are solid, but co-stars Jane Curtin and June Squibb as aging fairy godmothers are sorely underused.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the "formula" for happiness discussed by the fairy godmothers in Godmothered. Does the formula fit with traditional fairy tales you've read or watched? How so?

  • Do you think Mackenzie and Hugh end up together? Would their confirmed pairing have made the ending of the movie more satisfying for you? Why or why not?

  • At what point does Eleanor realize she's actually June's fairy godmother as much as she is Mackenzie's?

  • How does this film portray the news business? Was it shown in a positive light?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fairy tales

Themes & Topics

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