Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
A Glorious Cinderella Story
As the Brothers Grimm pay the Grande Dame (Jeanne Moreau) a visit she enquires about the inspiration for their story "Cinderella" before pulling out from a casket the most elegant shoe. There after she proceeds to tell them the real Cinderella story about a young girl called Danielle (Anna Maguire/Drew Barrymore) who loved her father and looked forward to him marrying the Baroness Rodmilla (Anjelica Huston) as she would not only get a new mother but step-sisters as well. But soon her happiness turns to sadness when her father dies and the Baroness turns into an evil stepmother who turns Danielle into a servant who is known as cinders...
I will leave the story there as whilst "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" follows a familiar path to the well known fairytale there are some fun surprises along the way and to reveal them would deny the audience of so much fun, some emotion and some clever twists. But as you can tell those clever twists start early with that opening scene featuring the Grande Dame playing host to fairytale writers the Brothers Grimm.
What also took me aback is that whilst "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" is still a romantic fairytale it isn't some cutesy little children's movie or some tired costume drama retelling of the well known story. There is a lot more life to "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" than you would imagine and has Danielle as a plucky young woman who is not afraid to express her opinion. We also have more depth of character with one of the ugly sister's being a victim of a bullying sister forced to go along with the bullying of Danielle. It is why "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" works as grown up entertainment as it has that wonderful mix of story, action, character, humour and look.
Now it has to be said that "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" has a fantastic look at director Andy Tennant not only capitalizes on some impressive sets but he keeps things moving so it never becomes slow or drawn out. He also has scored a fabulous cast with Anjelica Huston delivering one funny line of dialogue after another with a comically condescending tone to her words. There is also Dougray Scott who is just as good as the Prince and one who is extremely reluctant to take his place in the household.
But the star of "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" is Drew Barrymore who from start to finish brings oodles of energy and charm to the role of Danielle. There is the pluckiness as she throws apples at someone she thinks is a thief to sexy when she shows shoulder whilst changing with a touch of mischief etched across her face.
What this all boils down to is that "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" is actually pretty damn good and brings to the party the mix of style, action, comedy, characters and a whole lot more which makes this a fairytale for grown ups, the sort of which works for those who enjoyed the modern fun of "The Mask of the Zorro" but mixed with the fun of the 70s "The Three Musketeers".
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