Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) on Amazon and VUDU

 

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By Melissa Antoinette Garza

 

Certain movies, I enjoy not just for the quality of the film, but also because of what the film invokes in my own memory.  EVER AFTER: A CINDERELLA STORY, for me, will always be connected strongly to my sister-n-law Dani.

For starters, I believe I saw it in the theaters with her and I know I’ve watched it on other occasions with her.  That said it’s far more than that.  Dani loves Disney fairytales and despite this not being a “DISNEY” film it certainly had the feel.  Also, Dani reminds of me of Drew Barrymore, both in appearance and mannerisms.   Lastly, Drew Barrymore’s character was named Danielle in it.  So, for me, EVER AFTER: A CINDERELLA STORY has a life of its own outside the movie.

Even without all my own great memories, nostalgia and familial connections, EVER AFTER still stands on its own as a terrific addition to the CINDERELLA folklore.

The beginning reminds me a bit of TITANIC (1997) which as it came out a year before, I doubt was a coincidence.  The Brothers Grimm sit with an old woman who tells them the book of Cinderella is true, but that some details were incorrect within the production.

As a child, Danielle (Anna Maguire) has a strong connection to her father as she never had a chance to know her mother.  While away on business, he marries Rodmilla (Angelica Houston) and brings her two daughters Marguerite (Megan Dodds) and Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey) into the house.  Just as he marries Rodmilla, he goes away on business and dies prior to leaving while on horseback.

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In his last moments on life, he grasps to Danielle’s hand and not his wife’s which doesn’t go unnoticed.  From then on, Danielle is treated as a servant to the estate.  Rodmilla and Marguerite are a solid team, while Jacqueline shows sympathy toward Danielle.  Jaqueline is insulted because of her weight and otherwise is there to assist Rodmilla in attempting to get Marguerite to marry Prince Henry (Dougray Scott).

One day, Danielle pretends to be of noble blood to free a servant.  The Prince sees her and those they squabble a bit, the two have an instant attraction.  Their relationship heats up as they spend some time together.  All the while, Henry doesn’t know he’s falling for a servant.

When Rodmilla finds out that Danielle has been spending time with the prince, she sets out to destroy the relationship so that Marguerite can step in.  She even goes as far to sell Danielle to the creepy successful wonton Pierre Le Pieu (Richard O’Brien) to get rid of her.

When Henry finds out the truth about Danielle, he must choose whether to let her status keep him away.  One can guess how it turns out.

That said, this isn’t by the numbers.  It was the 90s and women being badass in hilarious ways was part of the film formula.  In one such awesome scene, Danielle rescues Henry from gypsies by literally carrying him away.  She also rescues herself when in imminent danger of Pierre’s forceful advances.

The great thing about Barrymore is she has a genuine toughness and silliness about her that makes the scenes believable.  If in real life, I saw Drew Barrymore throw some dude over her shoulders, I’d say, “that’s about right.”

The acting overall is fantastic for the film.  Of course being a RHPS enthusiast with Riff Raff and Magenta tattooed on my arm, seeing Richard O’Brien always makes me go to fan-girl mode.  In fact, when Pierre got downright ‘rapey’ with Danielle, I literally wagged my finger at the TV and said, “Richard O’Brien, you’re better than this!”   I couldn’t get too angry with him because he’s Riff Raff!!  He gave us RHPS.  Now the sane among you may say, “He’s playing a bad guy! It’s completely separate from RHPS.   You’re supposed to hate him in this role.”  To you I say, “but…..he’s……..Riff……..Raff.  He’s an alien from Transexual.  He may not even know the way we court partners on earth – nevermind during Cinderella times. ”

I can’t suggest this film enough.  I was able to purchase it on VUDU for only $6.99.  It’s better than Disney’s live-action version of CINDERELLA (2015).   If you haven’t seen it or even if you haven’t seen it for a while, pick it up.

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Scared Stiff Rating: 8/10