Penelope, a romantic fantasy that casts Christina Ricci as a socialite "princess" cursed with a pig's nose, draws mixed reviews. "First-time director Mark Palansky is trying for a deft, hip, modern fairy-tale feel, but the odd material, sprawling story, and complicated tonal balancing act get away from him," writes Tasha Robinson for the Onion A.V. Club.
The film draws praise for being sweet and for worthy performances by co-stars James McAvoy and Reese Witherspoon, but it "becomes more uneven as it proceeds, straining too hard to manufacture its quirky charms," David Rooney writes in Variety. "It's not the best of modern fairy tales, but it's sincere," writes James Berardinelli of Reelviews. "Penelope is flawed but not irredeemably so."