Another recent fantasy film, Stardust, adheres closely to one of my all-time favorite movies in the genre, The Princess Bride. Stardust exists in a sort of sub-genre of tongue-in-cheek fairy tales with humor and irony that work equally well for children and adults.

These sort of meta-fairy tales, like Enchanted or Shrek, both embrace the conventions of the genre, with grand adventures, hopeless journeys, witches, magic and princesses, while at the same time winking at the audience. What matters in these stories are the obstacles and delights along the way.

In Stardust, a normal, young, county lad ventures into a magical kingdom in hopes of retrieving a falling star and winning the heart of his beloved. Stardust doesn’t get everything right, but many of these delights, like the falling star (an actual person played by Claire Danes), do in fact sparkle.

Stardust, like The Princess Bride, also profits from excellent casting, sprinkling the story with interesting cameos and surprising choices like Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Ricky Gervais and Peter O’Toole.

Grade: B

Stardust is currently available.