I am sorry it has been so long since my last post! The comments have been wonderful though, I am glad people “get me”.
ANYWAYS I thought that since my last post was so critical, I would write about a movie that I thought was a pro-woman movie. These movies are truly few and far between but when they occur I think they are definitely worth blogging about!!
This movie is a bit old at this point, I remember seeing it as a pre teen and absolutely loving it although I couldn’t exactly say why. I saw it again on HBO last week and I was reminded of how truly wonderful it was, for all its lovely feminist qualities.
Ever After, starring Drew Barrymore and Angelica Houston, is a feminist, realistic approach (cutting all the fantasy crap) to the Cinderella story.
For starters, our heroine, Danielle (aka Cinderella) is played by Drew Barrymore. And this is not the svelte post Charlie’s Angels Drew. This was the Drew Barrymore that looked like the every woman. She was confident in her non movie star body which was nonetheless a healthy, attractive body for a woman her age. She had that baby face and evaded being over sexualized or glamorized.
The character of Danielle also avoided the typical holier than thou syndrome many female characters are ensnared by. She was selfless in many ways (by going out of her way to get back a servant that had been sold to reunite him with his family) but still remained human by exerting a certain level of selfishness. For example, she stole her family items back from her “evil” stepmother/sisters and hid them. It is likely that our fairytale Cinderella never would have done such a thing. She would have loved and loved and done no wrong despite the atrocities of her step family. Danielle is such a powerful character because she remains relatable. She is fine working in the fields and in the barns but she still longs to dress up in gowns and go to a ball with a prince.
Ever After also diverts from the typical movie/fairytale path in that multiple times Danielle is the one that saves the Prince and not the other way around. In a scene where Danielle and Henry (the prince charming) are out on a date and suddenly surrounded by bandits/gypsies, the main bandit tells Danielle that she can leave the premises with anything that she can carry on her back. Danielle puts Henry on her back and carries him away from the bandits, saving him from potential royal kidnap. Danielle essentially emasculates Henry in front of all the manly gypsies, and he lets her.
In normal movie fashion we assume that Henry, to pay her back for saving him with the bandits will save her at the end when she is sold into sexual slavery? Not so. Danielle manages to free herself from her captor by stealing his sword and using it on him. Henry arrives to “save” Danielle at the moment she is already walking free from her prison. She has saved herself, in true feminist style, but is happy to see Henry is there anyways to help.
Thus this Cinderella remake gives us a true fairytale–one in which a princess does not sleep forever waiting for her prince to wake her up, or relies on a prince to be captivated by her beauty to take her away from her horrible life. But rather, Ever After has given us the story of a remarkable but relatable and still human woman who just happens to fall for a prince.
And they lived happily ever after (awwww)