Ever After: A Cinderella Story is a romance/drama that aired on July 29, 1998.
When the movie opens, we are introduced to the Grand Dame, Marie Therese of France (Jeanne Moreau), who is being a critic about the book, Cinderella Story written by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm.
We are taken into the fantasy story of Cinderella. Daniella de Barbarac (Anna Macguire) is a vibrant eight year old, who is very curious about everything. Her father, Auguste de Barbarac (Jerone Krabbe) sets out on a journey but is suddenly struck down by a heart attack and dies on the spot. Everyone is very upset especially Daniella.
Going forward ten years: Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) escapes the clutches of the castle and ends up stealing a horse from eighteen year old Daniella (Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens). She attempts to stop him but is unsuccessful. He pays for the horse using twenty gold franks.
Daniella’s step mother, Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent (Angelica Huston, Daddy Daycare) is having a meal with her two spoiled daughters, Marguerite (Megan Dodds) and chunky Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey). Daniella is summoned to serve the three ladies their meals. Rodmilla scolds Daniella for smelling like a pig, Daniella apologizes and promises to do better.
Daniella is determined to get Maurice (Walter Sparrow), out of prison, so she dresses as a noble lady and takes off to the castle but is too late because he has been sold as a servant.
Prince Henry returns the horse back to the baroness and she in turn offers her daughters to him, as a bride, but he kindly thanks them and takes his departure. He shows up at the castle just in time to see Daniella trying to bargain with the slave owner. He is intrigued by her determination and character so he orders the slave owner to release him.
Rodmilla is very upset with Daniella because she feels that she tried to entice the Prince to release Maurice. She is determined for him to marry one of her daughters and will do anything that it takes to make sure that it happens. She gives Daniella’s fancy clothing, from her dowry, to Marguerite. Daniella catches Rodmilla in the act and questions her motives, but Rodmilla tells her that she wants her to go to the Prince’s ball, but only if she completes all of her chores, on time.
King Francis (Timothy West) enforces Prince Henry to find a bride in seven days and if he does not, he will find one for him. The Prince does not think there is such a thing as love but Leonardo da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey) encourages him and tells him it is so.
The prince is playing tennis when he stumbles into a crowd of waiting women, who try to devour him.
Daniella is forced to sell vegetables in the town square. She happens to see the Prince Henry and Marguerite strolling through the square and is afraid that he will find out who she truly is, so she tosses a chicken at him and takes off in a run.
The baroness admits to Daniella that she looks like her father, Auguste, but is stumped when Daniella asks her if she ever loved him. She only responds by saying, “I hardly knew him”.
The prince invites Daniella to the library and she politely accepts. Meanwhile, Marguerite is searching for the Prince and happens to find Queen Marie’s (Judy Parfitt) jewelry and returns it to her. The queen is so amazed by her honesty that she invites her to the castle.
Daniella and the prince find themselves in a pickle with some gypsies. Daniella shows great bravery and saves the prince from a terrible fate. She picks him up on her shoulder and wisps him away to safety, while the gypsies stand laughing their butts off. He kisses Daniella and returns her home safely.
Rodmilla gives Daniella’s mother’s clothing and beautiful slippers to Marguerite to wear to the ball. She becomes enraged and ask them what they are doing. Marguerite makes a snide comment about Daniella’s mother being dead and Daniella socks her in the nose. Rodmilla in turn throws her book, Utopia in the fire.
The queen reveals to Rodmilla and Marguerite that the prince is in love with Cometesse, which is Daniella’s mother’s name. No one seems to know who she is and the queen thinks she is a ghost.
When Rodmilla finds out who Cometesse is, she locks her in a room and refuses to let her out. The queen tells the prince that Cometesse is engaged and in route to Belgium. He is upset, but the ball must go on.
Da Vinci comes to Daniella’s rescue and releases her from captivity. She is dressed in her mother’s dress and slippers, jumps in a beautiful carriage, and heads off to the ball. She arrives just in time to prevent the king from announcing the prince’s engagement. Rodmilla reveals Daniella’s secret to all and the prince becomes upset and Daniella exits the ball in a rush and looses her beautiful silver slipper. Da Vinci retrieves her shoe and gives it to the prince.
Will the prince ever be able to forgive Daniella for her transgressions? Will he ever see her again to tell her how he truly feels? Will Daniella ever be free to love again or will she be kept in captivity for the rest of her life?
This great adaptation of the true Cinderella story is wonderful and full of fantasy and magic. The costumes are beautiful and perfect for this story. The scenery is breathtaking and the photography is brilliant. The screenplay is well written and will leave you laughing, crying, and the anticipation of what will happen next is sometimes too much to bear. This film deserves an 8.5 out of10.