|Ever After: A Cinderella Story|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andy Tennant|
|Produced by||Mireille Soria
|Written by||Charles Perrault (Cinderella)
Susannah Grant (screenplay)
Andy Tennant (screenplay)
Rick Parks (screenplay)
|Music by||George Fenton|
|Editing by||Roger Bondelli|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||July 29, 1998|
|Running time||121 minutes (approx.)|
|Budget||US$26 million (estimated)|
Ever After: A Cinderella Story is a 1998 film inspired by the fairy tale Cinderella, directed by Andy Tennant and starring Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston and Dougray Scott. The screenplay is written by Tennant, Susannah Grant, and Rick Parks. The original music score is composed by George Fenton. The film's closing theme song "Put Your Arms Around Me" is performed by the rock band Texas.
In the early nineteenth century, the Grande Dame of France, an elderly aristocrat, summons The Brothers Grimm to tell them the real story of the little cinder girl. She shows them a portrait of a young woman named Danielle de Barbarac, and a glass slipper, and begins her tale; which takes place in the late fifteenth century/early sixteenth century.
Danielle, a little girl at age eight, lives with her widowed father, Auguste, who shares with her a love of books and progressive ideas. He brings home a new wife, the haughty Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent, who has two daughters about Danielle's age, Marguerite and Jacqueline. He has a heart attack soon after, and with his dying breath professes his deep fatherly love for Danielle rather than Rodmilla, who envies Danielle and treats her like a servant thereafter for the next ten years. Marguerite is as cruel as Rodmilla, but Jacqueline is kind and gentle.
Ten years later, in the manor's orchard, eighteen-year old Danielle catches a man stealing her father's horse. She unseats him with a well-aimed apple, but is horrified to learn that he is Henry, the Crown Prince of France, trying to escape the responsibilities of court. He buys her silence with a purse of gold, which she decides she will use to rescue an elderly servant sold to the Crown to pay the household's debts. She dresses as a noblewoman and goes to court to ransom the servant, where she encounters the Prince again. After the jailer refuses to release the servant, she argues against the injustice and quotes Thomas More's Utopia. Henry is so captivated that he orders the man released and begs for her name, but she evades his pleas and leaves him instead with her mother's name, the Countess Nicole de Lancret.
When Henry returns the horse to the manor, it's plain that Rodmilla intends to match her daughter Marguerite with the Prince, despite the marriage his parents have arranged with the Spanish royals. The King strikes a bargain with the recalcitrant Prince, telling Henry to choose his own bride before they give a ball in honor of Leonardo da Vinci, who has come to court, or he will choose for him. Henry meets Danielle again by the river, where he is arguing with Da Vinci about love and fate, but again she runs away. While looking for da Vinci soon after Henry finds Danielle's childhood friend, Gustave, who knows the whole story, and tells him Nicole de Lancret is staying with Rodmilla. When he arrives at the manor, Danielle agrees to accompany him to the library of a nearby monastery. They are accosted by gypsies en route, and in an uproarious turn of events, Danielle rescues Henry and at the end of the night, they kiss. They agree to meet the next day, but she returns home so late she completely neglects her morning chores and tells Rodmilla and the girls to make breakfast for themselves. Rodmilla and Marguerite retaliate by blatantly trying on Danielle's mother's wedding gown for the masque. When Danielle discovers this she refuses to let them do it and she ends up punching Marguerite in the eye when she says they can do what they want with the gown since Danielle's mother is dead. She is beaten by Rodmilla and when she meets Henry later, Danielle is so disheartened that she is unable to tell him the truth and runs away once more.
That same day, Marie asks Marguerite and Rodmilla if they know the mysterious Comtesse De Lancret, and they realize it must be Danielle. Rodmilla tells the Queen that the Comtesse has gone to marry someone else. When they return to the manor, the Comtesse's wedding dress has disappeared and Rodmilla thinks Danielle plans on going to the masque, so she locks her in the larder. The servants get word to Da Vinci through Gustave, and he frees her and makes her a pair of wings to match her mother's wedding dress and her glass slippers, so she can go to the masque. Danielle arrives just before the King announces Henry's engagement, but before she can tell him the truth, Rodmilla accuses her of plotting to entrap the Prince by masquerading as a courtier. Henry is so shocked he spurns Danielle, saying that she's "just like the rest of them." Tearfully, Danielle flees, losing a slipper along the way.
Henry decides to marry the Spanish Princess, but calls it off when he sees how distraught she is at the ceremony. He begins to go to the manor, but learns from Jacqueline that Danielle has been sold to Pierre le Pieu, a man who seems to have sexual seductive advances on Danielle, just after the masque, so he sets out with Laurent to rescue her, but finds she has freed herself. Realizing that he truly deeply loved her all along, he asks her to forgive him and to marry him, and she agrees happily and they romantically embrace and kiss.
The next day, Rodmilla and Marguerite are summoned to court and charged with lying to the Queen. Without a defense, Marie strips Rodmilla of her noble title as Baroness and sentences her and Marguerite to be banished to the Americas unless someone will speak for them. When Danielle steps forward, Henry introduces her as his wife. She asks that they receive the same courtesy they showed her, so Marguerite and Rodmilla are sent to the laundry to serve out the rest their lives. Jacqueline is spared this punishment, due to her kindness towards Danielle, and matched with Henry's acerbic Captain of the Guard, while Danielle and Henry live happily ever after; and the Grande Dame reveals to be Danielle's great-great granddaughter and her portrait, created by da Vinci, was hung in the university until the French Revolution. She then tells the Brothers Grimm that, "While Cinderella and her prince did live happily ever after the point, gentlemen, is that they lived."
- Drew Barrymore as Danielle de Barbarac. She is kind, caring, generous and genuine, but also headstrong, stubborn, strong-willed, fiery and sharp-witted, which strongly romantically attracts Henry to her. Danielle is the Cinderella of the story.
- Anjelica Huston as Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent. She is cold, cruel and oppurtunistic, periodically abusing Danielle as well as regarding her own daughter, Jacqueline, with undisguised disdain. Baroness Rodmilla is the wicked Stepmother.
- Dougray Scott as Prince Henry. Intelligent yet uninspired, Henry is bored of his royal princely life and the confinement it brings. Henry is the Prince Charming.
- Megan Dodds as Marguerite de Ghent. She is beautiful, shrill, and vindictive, and evidently Rodmilla's favourite daughter. In the end, she shares her mother's humiliating fate.
- Melanie Lynskey as Jacqueline de Ghent. Jacqueline is very different from Rodmilla and Marguerite in that she's kind to Danielle, but is clumsier, rather naive, and is often dominated by her mother and mocked by her sister. Finding a friend in Danielle, she secretly plots the downfall of Rodmilla and Marguerite. In the end, Jacqueline disowns her cruel mother and sister, thus winning the court's favor and status of nobility.
- Jeanne Moreau as Grande Dame Marie Thérèse Charlotte de France. Grande Dame is the Narrator, and Danielle's great-great-granddaughter.
- Patrick Godfrey as Leonardo da Vinci. A famous painter and inventor, Signore da Vinci is brought to France at the request of the king. He is the Fairy Godfather.
- Walter Sparrow as Maurice. He is one of Rodmilla's servants who was released by Danielle after having Henry's help, and also Louise's husband.
- Matyelok Gibbs as Louise, and Kate Lansbury as Paulette. Louise and Paulette are Rodmilla's servants. They are the Fairy Godmothers along with da Vinci. Louise is older than Paulette, and is also Maurice's wife.
- Lee Ingleby as Gustave. Danielle's best friend, an aspiring painter and inventor who admires da Vinci.
- Timothy West as King Francis, and Judy Parfitt as Queen Marie, the King and Queen of France and Henry's parents.
- Richard O'Brien as Pierre le Pieu.
- Jeroen Krabbé as Auguste de Barbarac. Auguste is the Widowed Father. Later, after marrying Rodmilla for Danielle to have a mother's care, he dies from a heart attack.
- Joerg Stadler as Wilhelm Grimm, and Andy Henderson as Jacob Grimm, both the Brothers Grimm, authors of fairytales, including "Cinderella".
Ever After was filmed in Super 35 mm film format, however both the widescreen and pan-and-scan versions are included on the DVD. This is the only Super 35 mm film directed by Andy Tennant: his previous films were filmed with spherical lenses, while his subsequent films used anamorphic lenses.
Critical reception 
Ever After has received mostly positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 90% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 61 reviews, with an average score of 7.5/10. The critical consensus is: Ever After is a sweet, frothy twist on the ancient fable, led by a solid turn from star [Drew] Barrymore. Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a favorable score of 66 based on 22 reviews.
Lisa Schwarzbaum from Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B-, saying: "Against many odds, Ever After comes up with a good one. This novel variation is still set in the once-upon-a-time 16th century, but it features an active, 1990s-style heroine -- she argues about economic theory and civil rights with her royal suitor -- rather than a passive, exploited hearth sweeper who warbles 'A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes'." She also praised Anjelica Huston's performance as a cruel stepmother: "Huston does a lot of eye narrowing and eyebrow raising while toddling around in an extraordinary selection of extreme headgear, accompanied by her two less-than-self-actualized daughters -- the snooty, social-climbing, nasty Marguérite, and the dim, lumpy, secretly nice Jacqueline. "Nothing is final until you're dead", Mama instructs her girls at the dinner table, "and even then I'm sure God negotiates"."
Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, while praising the film with 3 out of 4 stars, wrote that "The movie [...] is one of surprises, not least that the old tale still has life and passion in it. I went to the screening expecting some sort of soppy children's picture and found myself in a costume romance with some of the same energy and zest as The Mask of Zorro. And I was reminded again that Drew Barrymore can hold the screen and involve us in her characters. [...] Here, as the little cinder girl, she is able to at last put aside her bedraggled losers and flower as a fresh young beauty, and she brings poignancy and fire to the role."
DVD and Blu-Ray release 
Musical adaptation 
A musical version of the film is currently in the works, with the book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich. The musical was scheduled to have its world premiere in April 2009 at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco, but the pre-Broadway run was postponed. In May 2012, it was announced that the project is back on track with Kathleen Marshall signing on to direct a Broadway run for the 2013-2014 season. The musical will also feature music by Zina Goldrich and book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler. A workshop of the musical will be held from April 25 - May 15, 2013 with Sierra Boggess as Danielle, Jeremy Jordan as Prince Henry, and Ashley Spencer as Marguerite.
See also 
- Ever After, the novel by Wendy Loggia, based on the screenplay by Susannah Grant, Andy Tennant and Rick Parks
- Box Office Mojo (1998-07-31). "Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 1998-07-31.
- "Ever After: A Cinderella Story Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 1998-07-31.
- "Ever After: A Cinderella Story reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 1998-07-31.
- Lisa Schwarzbaum. "Ever After (1998) on Entertainment Weekly". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 1998-07-31.
- Ebert, Roger (1998-07-31). "Ever After BY ROGER EBERT". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved 1998-07-31.
- Ever After Blu-ray
- Hetrick, Adam (2009-01-28). "South Pacific Revival to Play San Francisco; Pre-Broadway Ever After Run Postponed". Playbill.com. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
- Kathleen Marshall to Helm Broadway-Bound EVER AFTER Musical
- Kathleen Marshall Will Direct Broadway Debut of Ever After, Based On 1998 Cinderella Film
- 'Ever After' to get musical treatment in 2013 -- can Broadway handle three Cinderellas?
- Exclusive: Jeremy Jordan, Sierra Boggess and Ashley Spencer Star in Developmental Lab of EVER AFTER Retrieved April 29, 2013
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ever After|
- Ever After at the Internet Movie Database
- Ever After at AllRovi
- Ever After at Rotten Tomatoes
- Ever After: A Cinderella Story at Box Office Mojo