~ Ever After ~

 Ever After… A Cinderella Story

- By Bill Miller -

Men, shed your macho bravado and take the lady in your life to see Ever After, a Cinderella story.  I did and was pleasantly surprised with the film's ability to entertain a diverse audience.  Director and cowriter Andy Tennant has given us a fun flick, sure to bring laughter and spontaneous applause. Gentlemen will enjoy (rather than endure) this PG-13 rendition of the Disney classic -- and the ladies will love it.

The lovely Drew Barrymore radiates confidence and charm, giving a stellar Cinderella performance.  Many a young lady will dream of being Danielle, in hopes of meeting a handsome prince like Henry (Dougray Scott).

Is this Cinderella story appropriate for children?  That's a subjective opinion only parents can answer, but I'll explain the PG-13 rating.  The MPAA has rated it so, for some mature content and momentary strong (not foul) language.  Though not as benign as the Disney version, objectionable material is at a bare minimum.  I've seen PG movies that are more offensive.

At the tender age of 8, our heroine's world is shattered when her father passes suddenly and she's left under the control of her unapproving stepmother, Rodmilla (Angelica Huston).  Note the striking similarities between the name Rodmilla and the legendary monster, Godzilla.  

The story resumes ten years later with Danielle (Drew Barrymore) having blossomed into a strong-willed, well-educated woman who's been relegated to servant status by her wicked stepmother.  No longer in the upper echelon of society, Danielle attempts to conceal her identity throughout the chance-meetings-turned-courtship with the love stricken Prince Henry.  Danielle's fiery passion and enlightening words help Henry overcome his aristocratic blindness and gain a sympathetic understanding of the hard-working men and women of his country.

The fairy godmother role is supplanted by a jocular and jolly, Leonardo Da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey).  The famed artist/inventor helps to choreograph and culminate the budding relationship between our Cinderella and the handsome prince.  A masquerade ball and a glass slipper follow the well-known, traditional script.  

Will love last for Ever After?  Hey, it's a fairytale.

Four stars.

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