Directed by Andy Tennant
Screenplay by Susannah Grant and Andy Tennant & Rick Parks
Starring Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott, Patrick Godfrey, Megan Dodds, Mealnie Lynskey
Fairytales are big right now. You have shows like Once Upon a Time, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and Grimm on TV. There were a couple of Snow White films in 2012: Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror. But an early version of the trend, Ever After seems to have come and gone, despite being a clever romantic film.
The fairy tale in question is Cinderella. Danielle (Drew Barrymore) is cruelly treated by her stepmother Rodmilla (Anjelica Huston). As a teen, Danielle runs into Henry (Dougray Scott), who turned out to be the Crown Prince of France. Henry is being forced to marry a Spanish princess, but, after some argument, his parents agree to let him choose a bride from the attendees of a special ball to be held to honor Leonardo da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey). Of course, her stepmother and her sisters want to do everything to keep Danielle from going to the ball, but I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that true love wins out in the end.
What is especially nice is the way they move away from the fairy tale to make everything even better.
The movie’s casting is inspired. Drew Barrymore makes a wonderful Danielle – charming, smart, and more than willing to speak her mind. And Anjelica Huston is even better, making a perfect evil stepmother – glamorous and casually cruel.
The movie did adequately in the box office and it appears that a musical may be in the works. It’s a lovely version of the familiar tale.