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From the graphic novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman

Tristan finds a star that has fallen out of the heavens and embarks on a magical adventure with her.

Well, I have to say, the only reason Mr. Otter and I went to see this (besides the fact that we were off for the afternoon, had done everything we needed to do, and were looking for an excuse to get out of the house) was that we had free movie tickets given to us by a friend (The Nicest Person In The World) a while ago, and I had discovered the day before that one of the theaters that these tickets were for was a slightly run-down one in a direction we had not explored since coming to our new neighborhood a year ago.

So we said, what the heck, we’ll go see it.

And I, for one, was very glad we did. I’m gonna use my favorite word again, folks: Charming. Because it was.

I’m a big fan of Gaiman’s writing; Mr. Otter and I have loved Good Omens (written with Terry Pratchett) since it was published, and we both think American Gods is amazing. And I (and many of my friends on whom I pressed it) loved the Sandman series. But I really don’t like a lot of his younger stuff, especially his collaborations with Dave McKean; The Wolves in the Walls struck me as silly, and Mr. Otter and I watched about 15 minutes of Mirrormask and said, this is boring, and turned it off.

But there we were, as I said, movie tickets burning a hole in our pockets, and Stardust was playing there, and it was early enough on a Friday afternoon that we didn’t expect to have to deal with crowds of people. And Railroad David had called earlier in the week and said it was good. Of course, he’s only right about half the time (Hi, Dave!) but he has had a few good recommendations over the years.

But mostly we were tired of being at home with The Cats Who Hate Us.

So off we went. We got there early, went to the dollar store, went in, got some dibs (what us old folks used to call bon bons), talked, watched some lame previews (I so do not even want to go NEAR The Dark is Rising)…and then the real movie started.

And I was entranced. Amusing, hip, charming, good magical rules, good characters, a nice cast (including still Serious Honey Peter O’Toole), a funny and not predictable storyline…it was great. And if you like spotting people playing cameos, you’ll have a wonderful time, this movie has many of them.

Except for the part where Claire Danes looked JUST LIKE Gwyneth Paltrow all the way through it. I kept thinking, I thought she couldn’t really act? but she’s really good in this. There was a reason, it wasn’t her. Whew.

Anyway. Gaiman has done it again, and the people who were making this movie knew what they were doing, and any mutterings from Mr. Otter about them putting too much stuff in the movie or obviously riffing off The Princess Bride were ignored by this otter (his actual words were, They piled Ossa upon Pelion and gilded it!, which amused me).

But the over-the-topness fit, and all worked out. Even the things that didn’t seem to work had an explanation. And of course they all lived happily ever after. Except the bad guys.

Wonderful. Go see it.

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