"Penelope Wilhern (Christina Ricci, “Sleepy Hollow”), born to wealthy socialites (Catherine O’Hara, “Home Alone” and Robert E. Grant, “Gosford Park”), is afflicted by the Wilhern spell that can only be broken when she finds love. Hidden away in her family’s estate, the lonely girl meets a string of suitors in her parent’s futile attempt to break the curse. Each eligible bachelor is enamored with Penelope and her sizable dowry …until her curse is revealed.
Lemon (Peter Dinklage, “The Station Agent”), a mischievous and eager tabloid reporter wants a photograph of the mysterious Penelope and hires Max (James McAvoy, “Atonement”) to pose as a prospective suitor to get the shot. The handsome down-on-his luck gambler finds himself falling for Penelope, but not wanting to disappoint her or to expose his surreptitious ways, he decides to disappear. Fed up by his latest betrayal and determined to live life on her own terms, Penelope breaks free from her family and ventures into the world alone. She finds adventure and Annie, her first friend (Reese Witherspoon, “Legally Blonde”) and becomes the person she was meant to be. MoviesOnline: What do you guys have in common as actresses and how do you differ?
Reese Witherspoon: Losing a lot of parts to other actresses [laughs] and being really grumpy, and miserable about it. No, I think we have a similar sensibility. She is younger than I am. In ‘The Opposite of Sex’ she’s got this great force of nature about her. You do want to wrap your arms around her and love her, that’s why I’m so excited about this film. I do think it’s an opportunity for audiences to really embrace her. She’s great and she’s got great taste too.
MoviesOnline: What about James McAvoy?
Reese Witherspoon: James, we were just lucky to get James. The casting director suggested him and at the time I didn’t know who he was. Christina had seen some of his work and she was a big champion of his. So was Jennifer Simpson, my producing partner. I watched some of his stuff and thought he was great. Of course he has become this big movie star now. I tease him and say ‘I got you when you were cheap.’ [Laughs] That’s not going to happen again, I’ll never get him again. He’s so great and I’m so happy for him to be having all this success. He’s really versatile. You can believe him as a doctor, but also as a super spy. He’s just wonderful.
MoviesOnline: What is the best career advice you have ever received and who gave it to you?
Reese Witherspoon: The best career advice was ‘never miss an opportunity to just be quiet.’ That is always a good piece of advice, just in life. It was actually put ‘Never miss an opportunity to just shut up.’ That was from my granddad. Also, the interesting thing about our business is it’s so ever evolving. Somebody said to me ‘Always be nice to everybody, particularly the people that answer the phones, because they are going to be your boss in four years.’ It’s true, it happens all the time.MoviesOnline: What do you hope that teen girls especially who are having a really tough time with image will take away from this movie?
Reese Witherspoon: I guess that there are all sorts of different definitions of beauty. Beyond the physical aspects of beauty, it’s about finding what makes you unique, what can be really defining in your life, and that it’s important to really know yourself".
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