The movie was shipped to some theatres under the code-name ScarfyPenelope
is a 2006 Romantic Comedy
film directed by Mark Palansky with a wide release in 2008. It stars Christina Ricci
and James McAvoy
as the romantic leads, with supporting characters played Peter Dinklage
, Simon Woods, Catherine O'Hara and Reese Witherspoon
(who received primary billing, despite a relatively minor role).
Loosely based off the legend of the Pig-Faced Woman
, the film is a reconstruction
of the classic Fairy Tale
. It follows the story a child of wealthy parents cursed
with the face of a pig until she is accepted by "one of her own"
, which both she and her parents interpret to mean a marriage to somebody of her own social class. She is kept in seclusion in her parent's house her entire life, her very existence a secret after her parents faked her death as an infant in order to avoid the paparazzi, and she is trained in the arts and sciences to make her the perfect prospective bride. After seven years of fruitless searching for a blue-blood suitor who will remain in the same room for even a moment after seeing her pig face, Penelope (Christina Ricci) has resigned herself to being in this state forever and she (and her father) believe that it is time to move on with her life and accept the fact that this curse might never be broken. When one final suitor (James McAvoy) seems to form a genuine emotional attachment to Penelope, only to also refuse to marry her after she reveals herself to him, Penelope flees her home and begins to live her life for the first time in the real world, making friends and enjoying the world which she had only ever seen through the windows of her room.
After being produced in 2006 the film was stuck in Release Hell, unable to find a distributor for several years after the movie had been completed. Eventually, Summit Entertainment purchased distribution rights in the United States for a 2008 release. Suffering financially, the North American gross barely covered its production costs and critical reception was mixed, split almost 50/50 on positivie and negative reviews. Nonetheless, the film has a unique style and visual feel, evocative both of classic fairy tales and modern cinema styles, and the performances of its cast blend perfectly with their roles.
Penelope contains examples of: