Thursday, September 29, 2016


Welcome to another installment of RETRO REVIEW, where we take a look at films made before the year 2000. Today we review the fanciful fairy tale, EVER AFTER: A CINDERELLA STORY. Enjoy.

The story of Cinderella has been told many times in different mediums. Perhaps my favorite telling of this wondrous story is 1998's Ever After: A Cinderella Story, starring Anjelica Huston, Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott. This isn't your typical retelling of this famous fairytale. There are no magical pumpkins or fairy godmothers. Ever After starts out explaining the origins of this tale, following Danielle, played by Drew Barrymore, a young woman who wins the heart of her prince, played by Dougray Scott. But, there are problems along the way, of course. This film is a more realistic retelling of the Cinderella story, which is why I adore it so much.

Drew Barrymore brings a fierceness to her character that I envy. Her character's independent spirit is what helps her win in the end. Danielle ends up being exposed by her stepmother, played by the talented Anjelica Huston. After being exposed, the prince rejects her and Danielle is sold. However, the prince realizes his mistake and is able to win Danielle back.

In the animated version, Cinderella goes home and the prince's men come with the glass slipper. Her foot fits and they live happily ever after. It's just a little too far-fetched for me as an adult. I related to this film because it showed love doesn't magically happen. You have to go through obstacles and heartache to obtain real love.

My favorite scene of this movie is when the prince summons Danielle's stepmother and stepsisters to the palace. They are stunned to see Danielle as his wife. It was interesting to see her stepmother cower down to her. It seems strength and not just beauty won in the end.

Anjelica Huston played the stepmother role magnificently. Her facial expressions were on point and Houston has a regal presence about her that added validity to her performance. Barrymore played Danielle with perfection. This is one of my favorite cinematic characters. She wasn't just some damsel in distress. Danielle didn't need the prince to be happy, but instead was able to survive on her own. However, she loved him and that love overcame many obstacles.

Ever After: A Cinderella Story was received very well by critics, receiving a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Even film Critic Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 of stars! If you are an adult who loves fairy tales, then this is just the film for you.

Lisa's Score: 9/10

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