innocent_man: (drama)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Ever After is a retelling of "Cinderella" starring Drew Barrymore, Angelica Huston, Dougray Scott, Megan Dodds and Melanie Lynskey.

We start off with the Brothers Grimm visiting a French noble (queen? hard to say), who tells them that their little story about "the little cinder girl" was true, though they got many of the details wrong. We then go back in time to A Long Time Ago, and see a man with a young daughter. Said man has just wed a Baroness (Huston), and she's brought her two little daughters, but he drops dead of a heart attack the next day, and leaves his new wife in charge of the estate. Turns out she's completely selfish and grasping.

Fast-forward 10 years. Now Danielle (Barrymore) is sleeping in the cinders, cleaning up after Stepmom and her daughters, evil, spoiled Marguerite (Dodds) and cowed Jacqueline (Lynskey). Mom's trying to put Marguerite with the prince of France (Scott, as the whiniest prince ever), but he's in an arranged marriage and hates it. On a day out, trying to escape the duties, he meets Danielle, and steals one of her horses. He pays her for it, and she impersonates a noble to free a member of the household who Stepmom has sold to paid debts. In the process, she meets the Prince again and makes an impression, and they fall in love. Aw.

Problem is, of course, she's a commoner and he's the prince, and Stepmom's evil, so there are issues. But eventually, with a little help from Leonardo da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey), the Prince gets his head in order, marries Danielle, and Stepmom and Marguerite are forced into labor. Jacqueline, meanwhile, quietly falls in love with a royal groom, and does just fine for herself.

The movie is cute. Huston is pretty fabulous as the wicked stepmom, not just because she's so good at being cruel but because her motivations are so obvious - she's horribly jealous of Danielle, terrified to be thrust into the position of a manor-house owner when her husband dies, and can see no way out but marrying money. Danielle just wants to run the house and be with the family she's always known, and the Prince does a passable job of morphing from Whiny as Hell to Somewhat Less Whiny (though I buy his depiction of NRE and the heady rush it leads to). Da Vinci is a fun mentor, and I like that the Prince doesn't save Danielle from anything so much as get his head screwed on straight and choose to be with her. So it's fun, if not entirely high art.

My Grade: B
Rewatch value: Medium. Interested to see if Teagan would like it.

Next up: Evolution


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