How Has It Been 25 Years Since ‘Ever After’ Came Out??
Breathe, just breathe.
Once upon a time, a ground-breaking re-imaging of the fairytale classic Cinderella premiered in movie theaters. Ever After starred Drew Barrymore as a historical fiction version of Cinderella, Danielle de Barbarac. Set in France during the 1500s, the story unfolds like it could have happened in real life. I think anyone who saw this movie as a child or teenager has the masquerade ball scene living in their head rent-free. Danielle showed up looking perfect with a giant pair of wings constructed by her “fairy godmother,” Leonardo da Vinci.
Somehow, 25 years have passed since this modern masterpiece came out. To celebrate Ever After‘s milestone, Drew Barrymore had her former cast mates on her show. Barrymore, her two step-sisters (Melanie Lynskey and Megan Dodds), and Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) reunited in their Ever After costumes, looking like not a day has passed since they filmed.
Happily Ever After
Drew, Melanie, and Megan discussed how much fun they had making the movie. Apparently legendary actress Anjelica Huston (who played the evil stepmother, Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent) threw crazy dinner parties for the cast on a regular basis. Melanie and Megan revealed they shared a house during filming and would take trips around the countryside. On one of their trips, they decided to take topless pictures of each other in a cornfield, proving that celebrities really are just like us.
The cast also discussed how the movie was ahead of its time and I couldn’t agree more. Now we have reboots and remakes constantly, but Ever After was one of the first live-action re-imaginings of a story we had all heard before. As Drew said, when this movie was released, it wasn’t nearly as common as it is today for fantasy films geared toward girls to be rooted in a message of self-empowerment. At one point in the film, Danielle literally lifted the Prince and carried him to safety. Danielle was never a damsel in distress.
A different kind of fairytale
When Ever After came out in July of 1998, I had just turned 13. My grandma told me to give it a chance because Drew Barrymore was in it, even though I was no longer happy with most fairytales and how they handled female characters. I watched it and fell in love. Danielle was a bookworm who dreamed of life where everyone could get a university level education while still being clever and funny. She constantly helped other people, pulled a sword on a creepy dude, and literally swept the prince off of his feet. I know I already mentioned her dress and wings combo, but oh my god those wings!
This was a fairytale that made me so happy. I wanted to be her and have da Vinci make me some wings. Even one of the closing lines of the movie still lives with me. As the aged Grande Dame finishes telling the “real” story to the Brothers Grimm, she said the point wasn’t if they lived happily ever after, “the point, gentlemen, is that they lived.” Isn’t that the best ending we can all hope for, living our lives to their fullest?
If you are anything like me, your VHS copy of Ever After has long since faded with time. Thankfully Disney+ is streaming the movie. Now we can all have our own celebrations of one of the best fairytales ever told.
(featured image: The Drew Barrymore Show/Flower Films)
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