Friday, February 10, 2023

Disney+ Rewind: Ever After

My sister is a fan of Drew Barrymore. I remember that one of the reasons that I got to watch the movie Ever After before was because she was a fan. I may not have been that big of a fan of Drew, but I did love this take on the whole Cinderella story.

Ever After is a live-action interpretation of the fairy tale of Cinderella. The basic story is the same but not patterned after the Disney animation. There is nothing supernatural that happens in this movie. No talking mice, no singing, no fairy godmother with a carriage that turns into a pumpkin at midnight. The story is presented as being told to the Grimm Brothers, the men who wrote down folk tales like Cinderella that helped it become immortalized into the stories that we know today.

In the movie our Cinderella is Danielle (Drew Barrymore), who is turned into a maid by her stepmother after her father dies, leaving his estate to her and her two daughters. Instead of the usual story where she meets the prince at the ball, she meets him as he tries to escape his arranged marriage. They meet on several other occasions after that and they fall in love. In the movie, a ball also happens but this time, it is because the prince made a deal with his father that if he finds someone at the ball, someone he can marry for love, he will be allowed to do so. Despite an attempt by her stepmother to keep her away from the ball, Danielle gets help from her friend, Leonardo Da Vinci (yes, THAT Da Vinci). 

Unfortunately, the happily ever after does not come as easy for Danielle. Once the prince finds out that she wasn’t who she said she was (she had pretended to be from nobility to help save a servant that was going to be sold), he turns her away. It takes a while for the prince to realize that he loved her despite the lie about who she was but by that time she was already sold by her stepmother to a rich man who had long been interested in her. The prince goes to try to rescue her, but he finds her walking away from the man’s house, having rescued herself from a life of slavery.

As with any fairy tale, the pair end up happily ever after, married and, as later revealed by the woman telling the story to the Grimm Brothers, was a real person and her great-grandmother. 

I thought this movie was a good retelling of the story because it gives you a “what-if?” about whether the story of Cinderella is real. Skipping the supernatural elements and giving a more realistic version of the story gave it a different appeal for me. I also loved how Danielle was an independent woman. The story wasn’t about her getting saved by the prince from her living situation. She was a strong young woman who fought for what she believed in, and she not only saved others but saved herself when the situation called for it. 

It was a nice touch setting the story in France during the time that Da Vinci was there. Having that sketch of Danielle in what is obviously in the style of Da Vinci was perfect. Drew Barrymore fits the look. I honestly did not care that much for the prince in this story. He didn’t strike me as someone who would sweep her off her feet and I did not like how he turned her away at the ball for lying about who she was. It made him seem shallow and fickle. How could he turn away a woman he claimed to love just like that without letting her explain? That was a big turn-off. 

Ever After is not as grand as the live-action retelling of Cinderella from Disney but this movie was still special. It had its moments. My favorite moment in this movie is when Danielle arrived at the ball wearing wings made for her by Da Vinci. Drew Barrymore looked so beautiful during that moment. Whenever I think about this movie that is always the scene that I think about.

The movie is simple but sweet and worth the watch if you’re a Drew Barrymore fan. It was a nice look back on an old movie. I enjoyed watching it!


No comments

Blog Layout Designed by pipdig