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DVD Review

DVD cover

Ever After (1998)
(2018 Reissue)


Starring: Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott and Jeanne Moreau
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: PG
Release Date: 06 August 2018

A “modern” young woman of the sixteenth century, Danielle is as independent and wise as she is beautiful and kind. Against remarkable odds, she stands up to her scheming stepmother and works miracles on the lives of everyone around her, including the crown prince of France...!

Ever After is a romantic comedy based on the fable of Cinderella. Yes, Yes! I can hear you yawning: "That old story... retold again?" However, this 1998 movie directed by Andy Tennant is one of the most believable and grounded interpretations of the fairytale.

The movie stars Drew Barrymore as Danielle de Barbarac who, as a very young girl, witnesses her father (Jeroen Krabbé) die suddenly in front of her. His new wife (Anjelica Huston), and Danielle's new stepmother, and her two children (Megan Dodds and Melanie Lynskey) from a previous marriage, have already moved into Danielle's rather large home. Danielle should be a noblewoman, but as she grows up she is treated as a second class citizen - one of the servants - by her stepmother and stepsisters, until one day fate intervenes and she bumps into Prince Henry (Dougray Scott), and without knowing who he is, assaults him for stealing her father's horse. The prince was only borrowing the steed in order to escape an arranged marriage, and he ends up attempting to buy Danielle's silence with gold coins.

One of the servants from Danielle's home has recently been sold into slavery. He is the husband of one of the other servants and so Danielle dresses as a noblewoman to head over to the castle, planning to use the gold to buy him back. Unfortunately, she again crosses paths with the prince, who doesn't recognise her from their earlier encounter, but is intrigued enough by her to try and find out more about her. As the film progresses the two find themselves drawn to each other, but how can a lowly peasant girl possibly have any sort of relationship with nobility?

As you'd expect, the film rests on the shoulders of Barrymore, who turns in a great performance as the downtrodden girl with a heart of gold.

The only extra is the Trailer (1 min, 55 sec) which pretty much boils down the plot of the movie in under 2 mins. But then it's not like anyone doesn't know the story of Cinderella.

It's fun, it's romantic... it really is a family movie that every member of your household will get something different out of. And, being set in the 19th century, it's a movie that has aged incredibly well.


Nick Smithson

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