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Ever After Movie Review

Ever After - A Cinderella Story

5 of 5 stars An Extraordinary Tale of Pure Delight! June 5, 2001 

The opening scenes of the French countryside will make you wish you lived in France. In fact, you will feel very much a part of this movie as it will embrace your heart and captivate your attention.

As I watched this delicious fairy tale for the second time...this very evening, it occurred to me that my need to see the movie for the second time was so I could analyze the characters and find out why this story was quite so human yet so magical. Drew Barrymore (Cinderella) lent an almost ethereal quality to the movie. She floated on the screen like an angel, even before she gets her wings. She will steal your heart with her acting! She plays a country girl or a queen with equal ease. Only Drew could have played this part so well.

I found many contrasts in this movie. The idea of a greedy selfish woman chasing a rich man versus a man seeking the companionship of an intelligent woman who has inner beauty is contrasted quite beautifully in Ever After. A score fit for royalty fills out the film, carrying the emotions from light and carefree to deep and thoughtful, and sometimes even pensive. In some scenes, you must observe the facial expressions to completely appreciate the humor. You will laugh so many times you will want to watch it again. You will also laugh again the second time you watch it and will even appreciate the humor more. I could list 20 favorite witty lines at least.

Cinderella is Danielle. To Danielle's stepmother, she is mearly a pebble in her shoe. To the Prince of France (Dougray Scott) she is a mountain of strength that inspires him to pursue his own dreams and "enlightens" him. While Danielle is trapped in a social nightmare as a servant girl, she is happy. The prince who has everything, is still trying to find himself. When Prince Henry and Danielle meet, she throws apples at him, not realizing who he is. When Danielle helps to free a servant from being sold into slavery with money she received at the time the prince "borrows" one of their horses to escape from the palace....they again meet and he is intrigued by her knowledge of a book her father gave to her just before he died.

Prince Henry is not satisfied with his station in life so he seeks out ways to encourage his own happiness. He is destined to become king, yet does not desire the responsibility. Danielle is seeking love and has lost both her parents and her stepmother (Anjelica Huston) has lost the ability to love and is the child of an obsessive compulsive mother. One key to her character is when Danielle's father dies and all the evil stepmother says is: "You cannot leave me here." She has a human side and we somehow feel we want to like her, yet her words at times are chilling!

Her daughters are quite different. Jacqueline sees through their mothers fake attempts at deceiving their stepsister and Marguerite knows how to increase the intrigue, yet almost stalks the Prince to gain his attention. Danielle on the other hand casts an intoxicating spell on the Prince that he cannot resist.

There is nothing feminist about this movie. Yes, Danielle does enjoy reading and when she is given the choice of any book on a bookshelf she says: "I could no sooner choose a star in the heavens." She wants to educate herself, yet she does not demand that she be equal to the Prince, but does demand a respect for human rights. So perhaps that is what some viewers are picking up on. She is sweet and feminine and gains her man's respect so he naturally seeks her out as his equal. It IS about love!

Love gives you wings so you can fly to the place you want to be. It is a decision of the heart, which should be considered with the intellect as well. Yes, some things are meant to be. You must see this movie! It is one of the most beautiful romantic comedies I have ever seen....twice in one night! The exquisite costumes and scenery are only the backdrop for sheer magic.

Directors should take note of Andy Tennant's directing and I hope they will realize that with almost 700 reviews, a movie with this spirit is what we viewers love! Humor, romance, adventure, passion...this has it all. Escape for a few hours into the magical world only Cinderella can show you. I will be watching this movie many, many times. It deals with deeper issues and shows how people fall in love, the realistic way with magical results.

No pumpkin or singing required ;>. If you enjoy Fairy Tales, I also reviewed the "Illustrated Book of Fairy Tales by Neil Philip. Nilesh Mistry has also illustrated the book to perfection. Cinderella is included in this world of tales. You might also enjoy "The Illustrated Book of Myths." Neil Philip has a Ph.D. in myth and folklore and has a great talent for giving insight into the cultural background of each story. Many stories have changed over time, yet they still hold true to the basic premise that evil is punished and good is rewarded. Fairy tales are filled with magic and wonder. They do in fact cast a spell on the reader.

Secretly, I think adults enjoy these stories just as much as children do. I love the "book" aspect in this movie. It is just delicious! This is now my favorite Cinderella story. Reading by a fire sounds good to me.

 

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