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James Cruz
James Cruz

Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)

While the story is fictional, it involves several historical figures, places and events. The film is set in the 16th and 19th centuries and features Francis I, King Henry (later Henry II of France), Leonardo da Vinci, The Brothers Grimm, as well as allusions to the explorer Jacques Cartier, the fairy tale collector Charles Perrault, the French colonies in the New World, and the French Revolution.[6]

Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)

Barrymore has had no big hits as an adult (well, "Batman Forever," but it wasn't exactly her picture). But she has put together a series of sound, interesting performances: As a runaway teenager on a shooting spree in "Guncrazy" (1992), as a druggie's abused girlfriend in "Boys on the Side" (1995), as an unstable teenager in love in "Mad Love" (1995, still her best film) and as the waitress who falls in love with "The Wedding Singer" (1998--not a good movie, but she was OK). Here, as the little cinder girl, she is able to at last put aside her bedraggled losers and flower as a fresh young beauty, and she brings poignancy and fire to the role.

It's hard to imagine how to improve upon the classic that is Cinderella, but this delightful romantic drama does just that. With sincerity and girl-power can do, Ever After transforms the traditional story into a textured revision that isn't neatly tied up with a bow. It is, in fact, a heartbreaking story that's gently and beautifully told. After all, what isn't heartbreaking about a young woman who works so hard to obtain her cold-hearted stepmother's love, only to realize that she'll never get it?

Huston makes for a wickedly potent stepmother, but one who isn't caricatured to excess. In one scene, a flicker of appreciation passes through her face as she looks at Danielle, only to disappear quickly, and you understand that she's not so much monstrous as she is broken -- meant to be pitied rather than scorned. But she still gets her come-uppance in the end. Barrymore's accent jars, but her signature fiery sweetness works here. We don't quite forget she's an actress playing a role, but we enjoy her nevertheless. Director Andy Tennant moves the story along at a pleasant pace, goosing it with refreshing surprises such as Leonardo da Vinci playing matchmaker. We've never seen Cinderella like this, and, oh, what a happily ever after!

Ever After is one of my all-time favorites! Dougray Scott is the best Prince Charming ever in my opinion, and the entire thing works so well, the fact that there were writers, story editors, and costume designers is forgotten because the story pulls us in so well! My favorite quote is a two-parter:Danielle: "A bird may love a fish, signore, but where would they live?"DaVinci: "Then I shall have to make you wings!" 041b061a72


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