Parents' Guide to

Ever After

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Charming take on Cinderella tale has strong heroine.

Movie PG-13 1999 121 minutes
Ever After Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 25 parent reviews

age 14+

Terrible representation of Roma/ traveler culture and people

I personally like this movie even more than most fantasy / princess remakes or re-imaginings and the cast is delightful. However, and I'm not prude when it comes to language, the language and suggestive behaviors seem skirting the line and excessive even for PG-13... Maybe closer to a TV-14 or Euro 14/15 rating. Otherwise I would let 9-11 year olds watch it! Additionally the depiction of Roma/ travelers as thieves / g**sys and that the princess supposedly gets gy**ed by them really hasn't aged well and shouldn't be so easily accepted. It is certainly not in the name of good representation to all cultures or the new value of 'Diversity' that CSM currently highlights.
age 6+

Maybe I'm just too permissive, but...

My wife and I had been wanting to rewatch this with our girls for some time. I was concerned when I saw that it was rated PG-13 - our twin girls are only six and a half - and I honestly couldn't remember anything in it that would justify the rating. Turns out M. Le Pieu (Don't know whether I'm more amused by his sharing a character name with the overamorous skunk from the Warner Brothers 'toons or his being played by Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show) makes a double-entendre about his being well-endowed (with wealth) and Leonardo responds to Prince Henry's lame defense of his poor treatment of Danielle with "Bullsh*t". That's it. Really, so far as I could tell, there was nothing else that concerned me as a parent. That's my response to the possible negatives. The *positives* of the film that are worthy of noting as a parent: 1) As far as Cinderella films go, it is *very* pro-woman. The heroine isn't in need of rescuing and stands up for herself and for those she loves. The prince is the one who needs to do some severe character growth in this one. 2) Opportunities to pause and have brief educational talks with the kids about the problems of class-based societies and about who Leonardo DaVinci was. 3) The film is also very pro-reading, pro-literature, in the same way Disney's Beauty and the Beast was. 4) Your kids already know the basic story of Cinderella so they can pay more attention to the details.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (25 ):
Kids say (29 ):

It's hard to imagine how to improve upon the classic that is Cinderella, but this delightful romantic drama does just that. With sincerity and girl-power can do, Ever After transforms the traditional story into a textured revision that isn't neatly tied up with a bow. It is, in fact, a heartbreaking story that's gently and beautifully told. After all, what isn't heartbreaking about a young woman who works so hard to obtain her cold-hearted stepmother's love, only to realize that she'll never get it?

Huston makes for a wickedly potent stepmother, but one who isn't caricatured to excess. In one scene, a flicker of appreciation passes through her face as she looks at Danielle, only to disappear quickly, and you understand that she's not so much monstrous as she is broken -- meant to be pitied rather than scorned. But she still gets her come-uppance in the end. Barrymore's accent jars, but her signature fiery sweetness works here. We don't quite forget she's an actress playing a role, but we enjoy her nevertheless. Director Andy Tennant moves the story along at a pleasant pace, goosing it with refreshing surprises such as Leonardo da Vinci playing matchmaker. We've never seen Cinderella like this, and, oh, what a happily ever after!

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