This film shows a creature that will do whatever it takes to please his love. It is evident that Shrek (Mike Myers) has totally surrendered his heart to Fiona (Cameron Diaz). Fiona loves Shrek as well. Even in the midst of a fight after their arrival at her parents’ castle in the land of Far Far Away, her love beams like a shining light. Not even a charming, snooty prince could drive away that love . . .
A strange thing happened in the middle of watching this film.
As I watched Shrek’s struggle to gain the acceptance of his new in-laws as well as to please his wife . . . while also struggling to be the Ogre he was created to be, I turned to my wife and said, “This is a story about us.”
My wife, now my queen, was first and foremost her parents’ princess. They had hoped and dreamed that she’d find her Prince Charming (rich, handsome, and armed with Bible in hand) and live happily ever after. Instead, I was the one who walked through the door. In my in-laws' eyes, I was an ogre. They made every attempt to remind me that I was an ogre and prophesied doom and gloom over our marriage. She was distraught. I was forced with a choice: do I conform myself to the Prince Charming image? Or do I remain the man she fell in love with . . . a love so deep that she eventually followed me into the swamp? ("Swamp" -- in my case, the ghettos of South Los Angeles.)
Four years later, we’ve abandoned the swamp for the O.C. (oh, yes . . . Orange County, CA, the same as the one on that show!) The ogre in me is giving way to the Prince Charming that Jesus placed inside me, and as I watched this animated sequel in a plush Newport Beach theater, God gave me yet another watermark to remind me how far He’s brought me!
OK, back to the charming, snooty prince --
That Prince’s mom, who also happens to be Fiona’s Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders), will stop at nothing to drive away that love. The fairy godmother that little girls have dreamed about since reading and watching Cinderella for the first time is shown in this film as a conniving, scheming trickster with her own evil intentions. [Spoiler here -- You see, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) wants to be next in line as King of Far Far Away. And Fairy Mum has made a deal with Fiona’s dad, the current King of FFA, to insure that her sonny boy’s wish will come true. The unveiling of those plans will also explain certain events that took place in the first “Shrek” film.]
Now that Fiona and Shrek are married, the King of FFA must do away with him. So who does he employ? The ever popular Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas . . . who apparently used his vocal performance to dust off that Zorro impersonation in preparation for the upcoming Zorro sequel!). But . . . as things seem to go in fairy tales . . . Puss in Boots goes from enemy to ally in 2.2 seconds -- much to the chagrin of our noble steed, otherwise known as the nonstop chatterbox Donkey (Eddie Murphy).
Once Fairy Godmum’s plan is revealed, it’s a race against the clock for Shrek and his cohorts to foil the great scheme, which -- since this IS a fairy tale -- involves yet another kiss. Will they succeed? Will Shrek be reunited with his true love? Can a loudmouth donkey and a Rico Suave kitty cat coexist without driving each other crazy???
Once again, it’s a fairy tale. We all know the answer in our heart of hearts. But, of course, the journey is what makes it all worth it. On this year’s journey, we are treated to magic potions that turn Shreks into Studs and Donkeys into Debonair Stallions, we see ugly stepsisters who sound like Larry King, a laugh-out-loud escape plan that involves the opening credits and theme music to Mission: Impossible, the Gingerbread Man, the 3 Blind Mice, and Pinocchio (who tells a big lie about a big secret he’s hiding!), and Fairy Godmum doing big production numbers from the movie Footloose.
Most important, what God would have us know through this "footloose and fancy free" summer romp is that we should be the person He created us to be. We may be ogres in the eyes of men, but in the eyes of the ones (and The One) who love us, we are princes and princesses, kings and queens. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and worthy to receive love and blessings from those who love us . . . especially The One who loved us first!