Film Review – Ever After (1998)

A dazzling rendering of the Cinderella storyThe Washington Post

Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston star in this 1998 adventure. The usual pantomime and supernatural elements are removed and the Cinderella story is instead treated as historical fiction, set in Renaissance-era France. It is often seen as a modern, post-feminism interpretation of the Cinderella story.

This was Drew’s 29th film and she was only 23 years old. She’d already been through drug addiction, rehab, marriage and divorce. Barrymore said that playing Danielle in Ever After was her favourite role ever, it was her declaration of adulthood. “I was trying to reinvent myself and come out of a tumultuous period.” Roger Ebert said the film made him remember how well Barrymore “can hold the screen and involve us in her characters“.

20th Century Fox chairman Bill Mechanic only gave the film the go-ahead once Barrymore was on board. “It didn’t seem new or interesting until Drew came along,” he said. “She’s edgy, and she’s not a victim.” It made $98 million worldwide.

It was directed by Andy Tennant (Sweet Home Alabama). His claim to fame is that he was a dancer in both Grease and Grease 2


A “modern” young woman of the sixteenth century, Danielle (Barrymore) is independent and wise as she is beautiful and kind. Against remarkable odds, she stands up to her scheming stepmother (Huston) and works miracles on the lives of everyone around her, including the crown prince of France (Dougray Scott)!

Review – contains spoilers

This version of Cinderella is possibly my favourite take on the story. I have a lot of admiration for Drew Barrymore, going from a troubled teenager to a very successful actress and director, it feels only fitting that Drew takes on the role of cinders.

There is no extra glamour or magic or pumpkins in this story, it is a down to earth story of a young girl who loses her father and is left at home whilst her stepmother and horrid stepsisters visit the castle. We know how the story goes.

But you fall in love with Cinderella all over again, and even though we know how this story is going to end, it doesn’t stop us from holding our breath to see if Prince Charming will find his true love who owns the glass shoe.

Ever After can be purchased from 6th August 2018 in Blu-Ray and DVD format.

Rachael Jess

Drama, Romance | USA, 1998 | PG | 6th August 2018 (UK) | Blu-ray | Fabulous Films | Dir.Andy Tennant | Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott,