Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ever After

Isn’t it odd how you should never judge a book by its movie? How you always expect the book to be better? How movies can never tell things the same way books can? Well, it isn’t all the case with Ever After by Wendy Loggia—because this book was actually based on Twentieth Century Fox’s 1998 Cinderella retelling of the same name.

If you haven’t seen the breathtaking film, Ever After is merely a Cinderella retelling in historical fiction form. The absence of magic and the actual reality of the movie make it refreshing, since the tale of Cinderella is very unrealistic. It’s set in France in the early sixteenth century (according to the book, it starts in 1500 A.D. and ends in 1512), starring a young Danielle de Barbarac and the rebellious Prince Henry. Danielle’s father died when she was only eight, two weeks after he married the Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent, who has two daughters of her own. Rodmilla, jealous of her late husband’s obvious preference for Danielle, sentences Danielle to life as a servant. When rumor has it that Prince Henry is looking for a bride, Rodmilla is determined that her cruel daughter Marguerite shall be his wife. But Danielle meets him by chance under the pseudonym Nicole de Lancret, and Henry is instantly smitten.

I liked the book because it offered some some extra scenes--however, there were, unfortunately, also scenes they cut (such as, if I remember correctly, most of the tennis match with the Marquis de Limoges), and some of the best lines in the movie were switched in the book. (Remember Danielle’s swim in the river, and when da Vinci happens upon her in his attempt to walk on water? The companionable line, “It looks like rain,” was switched to “Lovely day.” And remember when Henry is fighting the Gypsies, before Danielle gets down from the rock? Instead of saying, “Stay aloft, madam! There are games afoot,” he says, “Stay aloft, madam! We’ve got company.” How disappointing is that? The two best lines from the movie, changed. . . .) As for objectionable content, the word d*mn is used once and some sexuality (thankfully only implied—but, in the case of Danielle and Henry, albeit ambiguous, still very disappointing) is also present.

Rating: 6. In some ways, it was a 7.

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