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Ever After: A Cinderella Story

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Ever After: A Cinderella Story

Starring: Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston
Director: Andy Tennant
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 121 Minutes
Release Date: June 1998
Genre: Romance

*Also starring: Dougray Scott, Patrick Godfrey, Teodoro Maniaci, Melanie Lynskey, Jeroen Krabbe, Richard O'Brien

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
2.  Harvey Karten read the review ---

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

EVER AFTER is a delightful retelling and reinventing of the Cinderella legend by writers Susannah Grant, Rick Parks, and director Andy Tennant. Set in a lush, fairytale, sixteenth century France, the movie floats on gossamer wings.

Drew Barrymore, last seen so bewitchingly as the waitress in THE WEDDING SINGER, plays Danielle, a.k.a. Cinderella. Danielle is a beautiful tomboy who fights with the best of them but who manages to stay absolutely charming in every scene. Barrymore is perfectly cast for the role, and, given this script, it becomes hard to think of anyone who could have played it better. When she smiles, the camera lens almost melts.

As Danielle's stepmother, Rodmilla, Anjelica Huston delivers a reserved but dead-on performance, helped by the bitingly witty script. "Nothing is final until you're dead, and even then I'm sure God negotiates," she concludes. Anyone who plans on negotiating with God, certainly thinks highly of herself. And when she catches Danielle wasting her time reading books, she has an unusual put-down. "Some people read because they can't think," she chides her.

Danielle's stepsisters are played by Megan Dodds as the bitchy blonde, Marguerite, and Melanie Lynskey as the more lovable Jacqueline. The former wants to go to the dances to marry the prince, but the latter goes only for the food - if her mother is to be believed. In the film's most satisfying scene, Danielle finally slugs Marguerite when she can stomach her no more.

Poor Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) is in an arranged marriage to a Spanish princess he doesn't love. Fleeing the castle one day in hopes of avoiding the marriage, he meets Danielle, a feisty servant. When he meets her later, she is dressed in finer garments so he doesn't recognize her. He comes to believe, incorrectly, that she is of noble blood and starts seeing her without the knowledge of her stepmother or two stepsisters.

he king, played by Timothy West, feels sorry for his son so he gives him 5 days to choose a bride. "Choose wisely, Henry," the queen (Judy Parfitt) sternly admonishes. "Divorce is something they only do in England."

Of course, the prince will want Danielle for his bride, and, of course, there will be numerous complications. "A bird may love a fish, senor." Danielle tells Leonardo da Vinci, who conveniently happens by. "But where would they live." A prince and a commoner are not a likely combination in the 1600s.

Never fear, they will get together and the stepmother and her awful daughter will get theirs in the end. But you knew the story. The delight of EVER AFTER is that it makes it all seem new and fresh. Barrymore's performance alone is worth the price of admission.

EVER AFTER runs 2:01. It is rated PG-13 for a single mild profanity, and the picture would be fine for all ages.

My son Jeffrey, age 9, loved the picture, giving it ****. He thought Barrymore was really cute. (When she first kisses the prince, he leaned over to me and whispered, "I wish I was the man in that picture." Ditto for his Dad.) His favorite part was the ball and Danielle's costume with the fairy-like wings.

Copyright 1998 Steve Rhodes

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