"If the Slipper Fits"
What You Need To Know:
EVER AFTER turns the classic Cinderella story into an imaginative, entertaining masterpiece. In 16th Century France, servants prepare for the arrival of their Lord, Auguste, and his new bride, Rodmilla. His first wife died while giving birth to his daughter Danielle. Rodmilla is accompanied by her two daughters. When Auguste dies suddenly, Danielle is raised as a servant by Rodmilla. Years later, young Prince Henry discovers Danielle and is impressed by her spirit. The King offers the Prince an opportunity to find a mate before the masked ball or marry a Spanish Princess. Rodmilla introduces her daughters to the Prince and subjects Danielle to heavy work and ridicule. The climax is surprising, unique and satisfying.
This is not one of the 500 fairy tale versions of Cinderella; instead, it is a very realistic fantasy with no magic and no fairy godmother. The dialogue is exquisite, full of humor, pathos and profound insight into the human condition. There are strong positive references to God and powerful references to responsibility. Regrettably, there are a sprinkling of obscenities and some exclamations. EVER AFTER is a film that people will need to discover, but once they do it will help them to live happily ever after
(CC, L, V, M) Finally tuned Christian worldview with an appeal to God, references to God, lies rebuked, & moral principles taught; 3 exclamations invoking God & 4 mild obscenities; swordplay, punching, & seeing the effect of a whipping; several kisses, but no other sexual activity; no nudity; and, cruel stepmother with threats of death.
EVER AFTER turns the classic Cinderella story into an imaginative, entertaining masterpiece. The movie opens with the brothers Grimm visiting the Queen, to hear the story of her great-great-grandmother, the real Cinderella.
Flash back to a humble manor in 16th Century France where the servants scurry about preparing for the arrival of their beloved Lord, Auguste (Jeroen Krabbe). His daughter Danielle, whose mother died in childbirth, is being dressed in the appropriate finery, but when her little friend Gustave challenges her to a mud fight, she takes off after him.
Meanwhile, Auguste arrives with his new wife, the regal Rodmilla, played by Anjelica Huston. Rodmilla is accompanied by her two daughters, Marguerite (Megan Dodds) and Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey). When she sees the dirty Danielle, Rodmilla is disgusted, and clearly, indicates that she aims to be Lord of this manor. Soon, Auguste has to leave, but on the way out of the estate, he suffers a heart attack and dies. Consequently, Danielle is raised as a servant by Rodmilla and her two spoiled children.
Years later, young Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) is trying to escape his father King Francis’ edict that he must marry a Spanish Princess for the sake of the kingdom. Prince Henry is so dissatisfied with the gilded gage of court life that he runs away frequently. On one of his escapades, he is pummeled by apples thrown by Danielle who thinks that Henry is trying to steal her crop. After finding out he is the Prince, Danielle, now played by Drew Barrymore, offers him another horse. The prince goes on his way and runs into Leonardo da Vinci who is being brought to the court of King Francis as the court artist. He rescues da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa from the hands of gypsies and eventually returns the horse to Danielle, along with some gold sovereigns.
Danielle immediately decides to use the sovereigns to purchase the freedom of another servant who has been sold by Rodmilla to be shipped to America. Danielle dresses in aristocratic finery intending on petitioning the King with her cause; however, instead, she ends up confronting the Prince. Prince Henry is impressed with Danielle, especially the fact that she quotes Thomas Moore’s famous book UTOPIA, so he frees her fellow servant.
As the days pass, Prince Henry runs into Danielle several times thinking that she is a Contessa, for she used her mother’s maiden name to go to the court to retrieve the servant. Prince Henry falls in love with Danielle as the Contessa. She is spirited, open and intelligent – things that are missing from court life. Danielle helps Henry to understand that his role is not just to be dictator, but rather that he has an obligation to be a servant of the people, who encourages, supports, respects and helps the people of France.
The King final decides to negotiate with the Prince, and so the King offers the Prince an opportunity to find another mate before the masked ball, or be stuck with the arranged marriage to a Spanish Princess. Upon, hearing this Rodmilla goes out of her way to promote her daughters as the best matches in the kingdom. At the same time, she denigrates Danielle and subjects to exhausting work to keep her out of the Picture as a possible match. From this point, the story develops in a completely surprising, unique and wonderful way to a very satisfying ending.
This is not one of the 500 fairytale versions of Cinderella. This is a very realistic fantasy with no magic and no fairy godmother (instead, the genius of Leonardo da Vinci helps the Prince to understand the meaning of true love). The dialogue of this movie is exquisite, full of humor, pathos and profound insight into the human condition. The staging is excellent, lending deep realism to every aspect of the story. The only thing that falls short is the trailer and the commercials for the movie which give the moviegoing audience the idea that EVER AFTER is just a marvelous work of art.
EVER AFTER has strong positive references to God, references to faith and powerful references to responsibility and decency. This entertaining movie exhibits a very Christian worldview when one examines all the intricate elements that make up this superb film.
Why EVER AFTER is rated PG-13 is a puzzle. It is much milder than many PG-rated films. Regrettably, there are a sprinkling of obscenities, and some exclamations such as “My God,” but these exclamations are not pronounce as curses, but as appeals and direct references to God and His grace.
EVER AFTER is one of the best movies from Hollywood this summer. It is a movie that people will need to discover, but once they do it will help them to live happily ever after.