Valentine’s Marathon: Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)

I apologize for the sporadic reviews going up.  I’m still recovering from my cold, so energy levels are still not quite how they were.  It should almost be over *cross my fingers*.

Next up is Ever After: A Cinderella Story, as mentioned yesterday, also one with Drew Barrymore.  I’ve also never seen this one before but I personally love Cinderella stories so I wonder why I haven’t till recently.

Let’s check it out! 🙂


ever after

Director: Andy Tennant

Cast: Drew Barrymore, Dougray Scott, Anjelica Huston, Patrick Godfrey, Megan Dodds, Melanie Lynskey

 Danielle (Drew Barrymore) grew up under her father’s care until he dies suddenly after bringing home a stepmother, Rodmilla (Anjelica Huston) for her along with her two daughters, Marguerite (Megan Dodds) and Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey). Her father’s death passed over the ownership of her home to Rodmilla and her daughters, dropping her down to being a servant.  However, she still grew up to be strong-willed and happy and knew how to defend what was right.  On a random meeting, she meets Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) who wants to escape his fate to marry the Spanish princess, hoping instead to be able to marry his true love, knowing little that he would end up falling for a girl who will awaken him to not only love but also the society/kingdom that he is supposed to take over.

ever after

Ever After is set up as a retelling of the “true” Cinderella story.  Cinderella’s real name in this case was Danielle de Barbarac played by Drew Barrymore.  I’ve seen a lot of really fun takes on the Cinderella story and while none is quite as enchanting as the Disney version, and some are just enjoyable in a rather silly way, this one adds a nice twist to it that makes it not only entertaining and fun but also really enchanting to watch.  There’s something that just draws you straight into the story and I believe it has to do with the wonderful cast here.

ever after

Drew Barrymore really takes on this Cinderella business and owns it.  I think this is my favorite role of hers of what I’ve seen so far.  Danielle’s gone through a lot but she’s smart and knows how to make positive change to make sure things are for the better and thats the person that should be with our Prince Charming here, Henry.  I think Prince Henry, played by Dougray Scott, which took me forever to figure out that he is Norman in Hemlock Grove was really cool.  I’m not exactly sure I really liked Prince Henry but the chemistry from Danielle and Prince Henry was amazing. I was pulled into their love and I’m not sure if that happens to others but for me, when I get into these love stories and they have the misunderstanding/breakup part (and you know they always have it), my heart kind of throbs a little because I feel the pain.  Thats when I know that I’m drawn into a good love story.  Its been happening less and less but its nice to feel it again for this one.

ever after

What Cinderella story is complete without an absolutely worthy villain in the stepmother.  I’ve seen Anjelica Huston a few times before this one although I can’t remember what exactly anymore but she was totally evil in this one as the stepmother Rodmilla.  Plus, we add in her evil influence on her favorite daughter, Marguerite (played by Megan Dodds) and their whole evil scheme and they just brew up quite the annoying and hated group right there.

ever after

The twist I did like was that we usually thought that both stepsisters were pure evil and spoiled but in this one, they make the younger daughter, Jacqueline, played by a young Melanie Lynskey, as a pretty good-hearted girl.  She’s neglected and pushed aside by her mother and in a way, she can relate to Danielle who really just wanted her stepmother to accept her so that she can feel motherly love, which of course never happened.  Another twist is that the fairy godmother in this one turns out to be a very silly Leonardo da Vinci who guides and encourages Danielle and Henry separately on love.

Ever After is a really awesome twist to the Cinderella story. It has a nice story with a convincing romantic chemistry between the leads and the supporting characters are equally fun to watch.  There are humorous moments as well as some sweet ones as well.  This is definitely one of my favorite roles by Drew Barrymore. I’d totally recommend this one.

Have you seen Ever After? Are you a Drew Barrymore fan? 

A Cat in Paris (2010)

Another original French animation quickly after my last venture into that a week or two ago with The Suicide Shop! (Click HERE if you’d like to check it out).  A Cat in Paris was one of my awesome buys in Target and it was one that I’d been searching for.  My best friend and I decided to pop in another animation to start off our Sunday while we ate our “breakfast” of dumplings at 9:30am… So lets check it out! Just a note, we watched this in its original French version and not the English one 🙂

a cat in paris posterDirector: Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol

Voice: (French) Dominique Blanc, Bernadette Lafont, Bruno Salomone, Jean Benguigui, Oriane Zani

Voice: (English) Marcia Gay Harden, Anjelica Huston, Steven Blum, JB Blanc, Lauren Weintraub

Dino is a pet cat of a little girl called Zoe (Oriane Zani/Lauren Weintraub).  Zoe and her police investigator mom, Jeanne (Dominique Blanc/Marcia Gay Harden) has just lost her father/her husband to the largest criminal thief in Paris, Victor Costa (Jean Benguigui/JB Blanc).  However, Dino leads a secret life at night.  He becomes the accomplice/aide to a burglar, Nico (Bruno Salomone/Steven Blum).  After her father’s death, Zoe has suddenly stopped talking.  As Jeanne is trying to find a way to capture her husband’s murderer, Victor Costa is planning to steal his most beloved antique treasure of his life with his minions.  Its at this same time that through certain circumstances, Zoe ends up caught by Victor Costa.  Dino must now find a way to save Zoe.

a cat in paris scenery

A Cat in Paris is not as unique as The Suicide Shop.  However, its strength is the animation style that it uses.  Its very much like watching a painting in motion.  The characters are illustrated in the way you’d see a French portrait painting.  Its refreshing to watch this when most of the animations we see nowadays are made with CGI.  CGI isn’t a bad element and it usually makes it feel more real and detail-oriented.  Sometimes though, I do enjoy the elements of a traditional animation.  It brings back a sort of surrealism adapted in an urban environment.  The visuals really were stunning and it was what kept me interested especially in one scene where it was illustrated in black and white.  If you’ve seen this movie, you would know which part I’m talking about.  I felt it was possibly the most awesome part because it was not only simple but effective in keeping the audience captivated and entertained 🙂

a cat in paris scenery 2

This was definitely an enjoyable watch when there was dialogue and interaction between the characters.  The ending also was pretty entertaining to watch as there was a bit more action.  My one issue that I had with it was that it suffered from being slow-paced.  Maybe its not supposed to be something that we turn on in the morning.  Especially when its actually quite short in time with only 62 minutes of running length, at 30 minutes, we started wondering if something was eventually going to happen. Maybe its because the storyline wasn’t particularly new but rather something a bit more predictable.

a cat in paris costa minions

Sometimes slow-paced isn’t completely an issue when we have some memorable characters.  This was like a criminal comedy where as much as there was a touching story on the side, the villain and his minions provided a lot of laughs from doing silly things.  Nico and Dino also have a very nice vibe working together to get their tasks done.  On that note, I really think the illustration of Dino was extremely beautiful.  Nico also lit up the screen with his smooth and sneaky acrobatic moves. What added perfectly to the sequence was also its jazzy and stylish music in the background.

A scene from ``A Cat in Paris.''

Rotten Tomatoes has this certified Fresh and I can see why.  I think its a personal preference as to whether its slow or acceptable for others.  No doubt its worth a viewing just for the beautiful visuals and animation style paired up with a very nice soundtrack chosen to bring this story to life.

Which type of animations tend to draw you in?