Saturday, February 7, 2009


CHICK FLICK ETIQUETTE TIP: When visiting the King and Queen’s palace, be careful not to drink out of the footwear.


Gertie’s heaving cleavage, Fairy Tale Land’s Amnesty International, Truman Capote the Spy, the cuter Beautiful Creature, Baldy McEvil, even gayer tennis, Leonardo di Crotchety, recent graduates of the School of Fake Accents and Bippity Bobitty Boo-Hoo.

More details here.


The Brothers Grimm are summoned to the palace of the Grande Dame (Jeanne Moreau) where they are praised for their story “Cinderella” which has delighted the people and the Dame herself. But she is dissatisfied with some of the details, claims the story is no mere fairy tale, and clues the brothers in on the real story of the woman who inspired the legend. Oh, and she’s French. Danielle (Drew Barrymore) loves her father (Jeroen Krabbe) very much and he loves her even more. That’s why he goes out and marries broke upper-class bitch Baroness Rodmilla (Angelica Huston) and adopts her precocious daughters Marguerite (Megan Dodd) and Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey). But Pappy’s ticker gives out and he kicks the medieval bucket on the front lawn, leaving poor Danielle to fend for herself against her mean ol’ Stepma. She becomes a servant to her shrewish family but develops a strong character in the process. She cares intensely for her father’s house and land, she defends her fellow servants, and she’s strong as an ox. Meanwhile, Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) defies his father King Francis (Timothy West) and goes about pouncing across the countryside, dishonoring his title and Dad’s wishes for marrying him into the Spanish royal family. He runs into Danielle after being mistaken for a thief and gets rung on the head by one of her apple knuckleballs. Later, when one of the servants is sold to the king, Danielle rushes to his aid, posing as a French aristocrat. She again encounters Henry, who releases the servant and is further piqued by Danielle’s forceful charm. The court is preparing a party for the arrival of Leonardo Da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey) who has sold his Mona Lisa to the King. And Rodmilla has a sinister plan to seduce Henry into seeking the affections of the vain and hateful Marguerite. But Henry is clearly fascinated with Danielle who he believes to be of noble blood, but all Danielle wants is to protect her servant friends and father’s legacy and make the world a better place. Rodmilla plots and schemes, Da Vinci walks on water, un-evil stepsister Jacqueline chooses a side, and the quarreling pair of Danielle and Henry romance-off and face down gypsies, leading to that inevitable royal dance where secrets will be revealed, shoes will be lost, and E.T. will phone home. Oh wait…


Ever After is an entertaining retelling of the Cinderella story in a more but not wholly realistic setting. Here Cinderelly is portrayed as a thoughtful, intelligent, and strong activist who finds love through friction but never backs down on her convictions, even without the aid of talking mice, octogenarian wood spirits, or vehicles made of fruit. (A pumpkin is a fruit, right?). Thankfully the movie isn’t as mushy as it could have been, thanks to a good script and solid performances by Barrymore and Huston. But I can’t fully recommend the movie if you can’t stand more than ten minutes of Drew pouting and acting tough. This is definitely a treat for fans and those with strong stomachs for what a movie studio thinks is feminist fairy tale retelling. But the accents… Good Lord. Huston is deliciously vicious as the evil stepmother, bringing forth a well-rounded realization of the character never before seen. Her animosity and resentment towards Danielle is explored in depth, something which the original story probably lacks. Scott as Prince Henry is dutifully adequate, but the two stand-out supporting characters were Godfrey as the bumbling but sagely Da Vinci and the awfully cute Lynskey as Jacqueline who supplies more than her fair share of laughs. Director Andy Tennant, maker of multiple chick flicks including Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama, and Fool’s Gold, crafts a socially relevant modern fairy tale, infuses it with wit and light-hearted appeal, and wisely avoids an abundance of treacle. The film is well-paced and beautifully photographed, and features interesting twists on the original story without altering the spirit of the source material. Ever After is undeniably charming, and will resonate with women and young girls around the world for ages, but stubborn dudes who thought Charlie’s Angels was Barrymore’s magnum opus may want to avoid it ever after.

No comments: