Come and listen to me ramble about Penelope (2007)

With Quarantine on the mind, I decided to rewatch a classic, Penelope. Not only is this movie an adorable story, but the main character is a bookish babe! Penelope’s room is full of books and plants, basically a library, and she even has a swing.

If you have never watched this movie, now is the time. Youtube is currently streaming it for free, you’ll have to deal with some ads, though, but use these short intermissions for snack breaks.

You can watch the movie here

Summarizing Things

Penelope is an ugly duckling/ beauty in the beast retelling and stars popular actors James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage, Reese Witherspoon, and Christina Ricci as the main character.

Because of an ancient family curse, Penelope Wiltern was born with a pig nose and has been sheltered all her life. Penelope’s parents believe that the only way to break her curse is for Penelope to marry her own kind, a blue blood. However, all of Penelope’s suitors run in terror as soon as they see her real face. Lemon, an obsessed reporter (Peter Dinklage), hires Maxwell (James McAvoy) to pose as a suitor and snap a picture of Penelope’s face.

Maxwell begins to fall in love with Penelope, and she wants him to marry her. However, Maxwell cannot marry her and break the curse. This is all it takes for Penelope to finally run away and make it out on her own.

TW: This movie mentions and briefly depicts suicide a few times through out the movie.

My Thoughts

Penelope is gorgeous, even with that pig nose. No wonder Maxwell had heart eyes for her. They’re also super cute together. I gasped when Penelope finally revealed her face to him even though I have seen this movie many times.

However, what I didn’t remember from all my rewatching is how toxic Penelope’s mother is. Penelope’s mother stops her from bringing herself down when she looks in the mirror, but instead of telling Penelope how beautiful she is, her mother only reminds her that her nose is her ancestor’s nose and the curse is not her fault.

When Penelope decides to break off her wedding, she asks her mother to look at her but her mother can’t even look her in the eyes.

I don’t think Penelope’s mom could ever accept her daughter and I think part of the reason she sheltered her daughter was because of her own embarrassment.

This movie is super cute, but I felt like they didn’t treat suicide seriously. So many suitors jump out the window after seeing Penelope for the first time. For the drama of it, but later in the movie, Penelope breaks all of our hearts when she says she’ll kill herself if the curse isn’t broken.

Plot holes

If you have seen the movie let’s discuss plot holes and the weird things that don’t add up.

– Penelope offers to go get more ho hos at the store but acts brand new when she checks into the hotel.

– By the end of the movie, Penelope is a grade school teacher, but the events of this movie all happened in the same year. I guess this city needed teachers.


I can’t place the setting of this movie. There are so many characters- with British accents in this movie- I thought maybe this movie was set in Europe. We got blue bloods and gothic houses to make it believable.

 But Lemon, Maxwell, and Annie (Reese Witherspoon) all have American accents. I started to think maybe they all live in a diverse east coast town.

 At the end of the film, we meet children with British accents, and at that point, I gave up trying to place Penelope in a real-world setting.

No one in the youtube comments even mentioned Penelope’s wedding dress, but it’s gorgeous! It has lots of white feathers to reference the ugly duckling story, and I think Penelope wearing the dress with her pig nose is supposed to symbolize that she’s beautiful even if she’s not conventionally beautiful.

When Penelope finally confronts Maxwell, she does so in a pig mask that covers her new nose. Maxwell doesn’t know she’s broken the curse, but he kisses her anyway. 

Even if Penelope never broke the curse he would have loved her.

And finally, why do movies always make people with blue eyes pop? And by pop I mean hot! James McAvoy got me good.

That’s all I have for today until my next post continue living in libros,


Watch the movie Penelope here

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