First of all, there’s nothing wrong with fairy tales. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with love stories like Ever After: A Cinderella Story—directed by Andy Tennant. But besides that, the movie also starred Drew Barrymore in the lead as Danielle (the Cinderella character) and Anjelica Huston as the Baroness (her wicked stepdaughters), with Megan Dodds and Melanie Lynskey as the Baroness’ two daughters. In addition, the movie also featured Dougray Scott as the Prince. And the movie was essentially a clichéd romantic comedy in the guise of a historical romance.
In the beginning, the Brothers Grimm met the Grand Dame of France at her palace. Once there, they discovered that the story of Cinderella was, in fact, based on a true story. The film then cut further back into the past where an eight-year-old Danielle was excited at the prospect of finally having a mother and a couple of sisters. But after meeting them, her father would fall off his horse while heading out of the castle and die. A decade later the Crown Prince of France escapes from his castle, not wanting to be forced into a loveless marriage. He shortly runs into Leonardo Da Vince where he recovers a stolen copy of the Mona Lisa (before realizing who the painter was). Meanwhile, time has not been so easy to Danielle. She has essentially been forced into a life of servitude by her step-mother and sisters (though one of them is a bit unwilling). Eventually, she runs into the prince where they don’t immediately get along. Then, they constantly argue until one day when they meet a bunch of gypsies. That night ended with a kiss, all the while Danielle’s sister is also trying to court the prince. This culminates on the night of the ball where Danielle is able to escape her temporary prison only to get revealed to the prince as a servant girl. And this leaves the main characters with no choice but to fix the mistakes that have already been made (before ending up in a sad life).
Over all, I enjoyed this movie. I’m not saying it’s the best movie I’ve ever seen, but that’s not saying much (considering the last two movies I’ve reviewed). But the movie was still worth watching. Alan Tennant’s stellar direction was exceptional. This was especially noticeable in the camerawork—not really in the use of close ups but definitely when it came to the use of tracking shots (which were very effective but not terribly over used). Also, the movie is definitely the type you can just sit down to watch. Meaning, it was a very entertaining movie. And it was quite funny at parts.
Only, the movie suffered from a couple notable problems. Firstly, the two leads did not seem to have that much chemistry—though not nearly as bad as Adam Sandler had with himself in Jack and Jill or Ben Affleck had with Jennifer Lopez in Gigli. The relationship, in fact, felt kind of forced (especially early on). Also, the writing wasn’t that good. It felt cheesy when it was at its best and downright awful when it wasn’t. And unfortunately, the acting suffered for it. Even Anjelica Huston didn’t do that great a performance in the movie.
But in the end, would I watch this movie again. I most certainly would. I’m just not going to pay attention to the details of the movie when I do.