Animal magic steals the show.
Then we might have had a classic romantic drama on our hands.
As it is, Witherspoon and Pattinson never seem truly comfortable as the couple thrown together when a circus troupe tours America during the Great Depression.
Indeed, they are upstaged by Christoph Waltz (theJewhunter from Inglourious Basterds) as a slightly psychotic circus boss and Rosie the elephant, who is a victim of his madness.
But despite the miscasting, Water For Elephants still manages to be an entertaining effort as we follow vet student Pattinson after tragedy sees him join a third-rate circust.
The youngster proves to have a gift for handing animals and becomes an invaluable recruit.
Until he falls for Witherspoon, the circus's star act and the boss's wife.
BEST BUDDIES... Pattinson with Rosie