Take away the Fairy Godmother, and what have you got left from the Cinderella fable? The story of a girl for whom a bad stroke of luck is no match for her internal strength and purity of heart. Drew Barrymore plays Cindere... more »lla's alleged inspiration, Danielle, in this romantic drama that purports to tell the "facts" behind the Grimm brothers' story. One of three daughters of a man (Jeroen Krabbé) who dies and leaves her fate in the hands of a conniving stepmother (Anjelica Huston), Danielle is cast into the lowly role of a servant. Meanwhile, her sisters are evaluated as possible mates for a French prince (Dougray Scott), but he's far more intrigued with Danielle's intelligence and beauty--not to mention her way with a sword and fist. Directed by Andy Tennant (who directed Barrymore in TV's The Amy Fisher Story), Ever After has that rare ability to win the heart and mind of a viewer simply by being committed to its own innocence, particularly where Barrymore's luminous performance is concerned. A contemporary take on an old, virtually forgotten Hollywood convention--the costume adventure with middling artistic ambition but real audience appeal--Ever After is a surprisingly delightful film. --Tom Keogh« less
Kristy C. from HANOVER, PA Reviewed on 1/1/2011...
Just want to comment that this states that the rating is PG but it is actually PG-13.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Colleen S. from STERLING HTS, MI Reviewed on 3/24/2009...
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Love Drew Barrymore. It has Romance and comedy and Dougray is very cute. Love this take on the
Shim F. Reviewed on 2/18/2008...
This is a cute love story.
I loved it when I was little and still love is to this day.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Slightly modernized and strengthened storyline for old tale
Schtinky | California | 12/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I am sure that we have all heard the story of Cinderella many times over, but in Ever After we finally get to see a stronger female lead than those who dance through our little girls brains at an impressionable age.
Danielle De Barbarac (Drew Barrymore) lives alone with her father and their servants after the death of her mother, until one day her father brings home a new bride, the Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent (Anjelica Huston) and her two daughters, Marguerite and Jacqueline. When Danielle's father dies, the Baroness turns Danielle into a servant to wait on her and her spoiled daughters.
Danielle accidently meets young Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) when the Prince pilfers a horse from their manor in order to escape his parents restrictions. For her silence, he gives her coins, which she uses to pose as a courtier to buy back their old servant the Baroness sold to pay her taxes.
She meets Prince Henry again, but this time posed as a Lady, and Henry finds himself enchanted not simply by her beauty but by her intelligence and spirit. He becomes determined to know more about her, but first must find her for she keeps slipping away from him. In the meantime, Marguerite has set her sights on the handsome prince, with the help of her mother and a michevious courtier.
I won't give away any more of the movie, but absolutely must mention that there is a great deal of humor in this unique telling of the Cinderella story (take special note of the wedding chapel scene with the Spanish Princess). The acting is supurb and the script very tight and well written, the costumes are stunning, the scenery is breathtaking, and the photography brilliant.
Overall, this is a wonderful movie that softened even my cold, hard heart, allowing it to pump warm blood if only for the length of the movie. This is a love story without sappiness, a handsome hero with faults of his own, and a beautiful heroine who knows how to save herself. Enjoy!"
A Moving, Beautiful, Wonderful Movie
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 11/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful movie. The premise may be cliché, but this is much, much more than just another "Cinderella" movie. Its effects are really quite magical--it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will totally immerse you in its spell. If you are human, it will produce a lump in your throat that will remain there for hours. Some people might call this a "woman's" movie, but I, as a man, will proclaim that it really touches my heart every time I watch it, and I freely admit that it does bring tears to my eyes. I need not go into detail describing the plot--it is a somewhat modernized Cinderella story, replete with the evil stepmother, charming prince, and angelic, mistreated heroine. Instead of a fairy godmother, there is Leonardo da Vinci--an unexpected but brilliant scripting decision, I feel. There are no magic pumpkins turning into horses and carriages, but there is magic; it is the magic of true love. The entire cast is superb, particularly Anjelica Huston as the evil stepmother, but all of them are overshadowed by Drew Barrymore. Anyone who does not feel that Drew Barrymore is one of the greatest actresses of this and any other generation has obviously not seen this movie. I love all of Drew's movies, but I really believe this movie represents her finest performance. Even down to the most unimportant nuances of acting, she is simply brilliant. She is equally convincing as a peasant in the field as she is a royal courtier among the nobility of France. The emotion she is able to express to the audience is deep and amazingly real. I really can't say enough about her performance here. All I can do is encourage you to experience this movie. I believe you will want to watch it more than once; it is just as fresh and moving the second and third time as it is the first. Don't dismiss it as a "sappy love story" or think its 16th century setting will make it hard to relate to. This is a story as old as time itself, really, and it is a story that will always be relevant to humankind. It celebrates the power of true love and shows all of us that dreams can indeed come true."
Troy | the Netherlands | 09/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the kind of movie that no self-respecting guy would admit to liking in front of his friends. Seeing as i have no self-respect and even fewer friends, i have no reservations in stating that i loved this one from start to finish. It is a clever and highly original retelling of the classic Cinderella story, set in France. The entire cast does an inspired job. Drew Barrymore hasn't been this endearing since "E.T." (or was it "Doppelganger" ? I keep confusing the two), Anjelica Huston is a fittingly loathsome stepmother and even the featured "prince charming" i found easy to stomach. Need i recount the (allegedly true) tale ? (daughter turned lowly servant turned pretend courtier turned princess) Check elsewhere !The pre-feminist subtext is hard to overlook, but far from obtrusive. Couldn't help liking the not so evil second stepsister. No fantastic elements are introduced: there is no evidence of sorcery, or a pumpkin anywhere to be found. Replacing the fairy godmother with Leonardo da Vinci of all people is a stroke of genius, adding to the credibility of the storyline. The payoff is thoroughly satisfactory, leaving you with a smile on your face. My fellow countryman Jeroen Krabbé (Barrymore's father) sees his acting career cut short as he is killed off within the first five minutes or so. The whole thing is accompanied by a great music score. Set aside your prejudice & suspend your disbelief. This is 1 hour and 57 minutes well spent !"
Full of magic
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very often "realistic fantasy stories" flop like dying fish. "Ever After" is one of the few exceptions, a sparkling tale about Cinderella in a semi-historic setting, with an outstanding cast, strong script, and a delightful love story. What's a fairy tale without magic? It's "Ever After."Danielle (Drew Barrymore) is a young girl raised alone by her father, who encourages his daughter's intelligence, curiosity and strong will. But her life takes a tragic turn when her father marries a haughty social-climber Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent (Angelica Houston), and brings her and her two daughters Marguerite and Jacqueline (Megan Dodds and Melanie Lynskey) to live with Danielle. He dies tragically of a heart attack, leaving his daughter alone with his widow. Years later, Danielle is treated like one of the servants, with whom she is a loyal friend. Her only relics of her past life are a pair of shoes and a beautiful dress left by her mother. When one of the servants is imprisoned falsely for theft, Danielle goes to try to save him. And there, she bumps into the young Prince Henry, who is being pressured by his stuffy parents to marry -- and Rodmilla is targeting him as a potential mate for one of her daughters. But Henry falls in love with Danielle -- her intelligence, her political knowledge, her love of fun, her bravery, and her strength.As Danielle and the prince grow closer, the scheming of her stepmother threatens to destroy their relationship.The director knows the right way to mix comedy and drama in a way that seems entirely plausible. When Henry "dumps" the Spanish princess, or when he wakes his parents with all sorts of bright plans, the audience laughs out of affectionate amusement. You like or dislike the characters exactly as the director wants you to. And he apparently knows that magic is less in plot elements than in the atmosphere -- though the setting is medieval France, there is the sort of bright, ornate look to the castle and clothes that you see in fairy tales. (The only exception is the painfully-90s gown and sparkling makeup that Danielle wears at the climax. This is medieval France, not the Butterfly prom!) The script is full of funny or tense moments, and the frequent uses of Sir Thomas More's "Utopia" add an extra dimension of realism. And, in perhaps the most brilliant move in this film, one of the stepsisters is not "wicked." Rather the chubby, not-as-pretty but good-natured Jacqueline adds a silent ally to Danielle and prevents Jacqueline and Marguerite from turning, essentially, into one character.Drew Barrymore is exquisite as Danielle, putting on Danielle's intelligence, wit and strength with ease and believability. Thankfully Danielle is never turned into a feminist in the usual sense of the word; she is unafraid to show that she is every inch a man's equal, but the movie doesn't bash viewers with that theme. Dougray Scott is equally good as Henry, mixing pride and confusion, sweetness and boredom into a very believable young prince. Anjelica Huston is almost hammily enjoyable as Rodmilla; Dodds and Lynskey are even better as her daughters. And even Leonardo da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey) makes an appearance to help smooth out the course of true love.This is a family movie in the best sense of the word. The plotline and scripting are clever enough for adults to enjoy thoroughly, but there is nothing that the kids can't watch. So get everyone together and watch this enchanting retelling."
CLEVER NEW TWISTS ON THE TIMELESS FABLE
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 11/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sure, like any rendition of a classic, Ever After has holes you could rear cattle in -- everyone in France inexplicably speaks with a perfect British accent; Leonardo Da Vinci has nothing better to do than to advise a romantic couple in the matters of the heart; a young girl brought up on menial house chores has more grace in hand-to-hand combat than the Prince of France...etc.
Yet, amazingly, very little of this goes unforgiven if not totally unnoticed because the movie bears an infectious charm in its rhythm.
The script is thoughtful enough to maintain a distance from mickey-mouse concepts of pumpkins and fairies. The dialogue has enough grace to keep anglophiles glued, there's even a wanton skein of humour that makes it all more pleasant than your average garden-variety Cinderella narrative. The roundabout love story is beautifully developed, earning full marks for the screenplay. The visuals of nature, palaces, horse chases etc are stunning, and the costumes full-bodied and colorful. The background score, while not remarkable, makes for an excellent prop.
That is in itself a creamy cake, but the film wouldn't be quite the dessert it is, had it not been for some icing in the form of delicious acting all round.
I'm not a raving fan of Barrymore but her Danielle is thoroughly likable, sweet without being cloying, confident without being overly theatrical. Dougray Scott does his job as the Prince, but I could see why his character likes Danielle much more than she likes him. The vixen of a stepmother is played immaculately by Anjelica Huston, as are the two daughters and the crones who serve as the domestics.
A wholesome film that pulls all the right strings and pulls them fluently. Recommended in a blink."