Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) is not happy with the requirements of his station. He wishes “for nothing more than to be free of [his] gilded cage.” He wants choice in his life, not just what is expected of him by his status. He wants to “see the world before [he gives] up [his] life for God and country.” After meeting Danielle (Drew Barrymore), he starts to have what his parents consider outrageous ideas. He wants to “build a university with the largest library on the continent where anyone can study no matter their station” Also, he wants to “invite the gypsies to the ball” at the end of the movie.
We could even argue Danielle is a new generation with new ideas. Few servants would think of dressing up like a courier to save another servant. However, she willingly does so and is successful in her endeavor. She is also a woman who desires education. Her favorite memory of her father is the books he would bring home and read to her: “science, philosophy”. It is rare for a servant to be educated, especially a female servant.
Even Leonardo Di Vinci (Patrick Godfrey) could be considered a new generation pushing against the old generation. He is “the bastard son of a peasant”, but he is a great artist. His imagination and creativity are inspirational for Henry. Leonardo is the “founder of forward thinking” in Henry’s opinion.
Love is probably the most progressive idea of this movie. Henry is obsessed with trying to find love instead of agreeing to an arranged marriage. Also, Danielle wants her step mother to love her, as her father did. She yearns for affection. Love does not seem to be the primary concern for previous generations. However, the characters we look at here want love desperately.
The end of this movie is the greatest representation of a new generation establishing their own rules. Henry, the Prince of France, and Danielle, the servant, get married and “live happily ever after”.
If we had children and people who never questioned things, then the world would not grow and change. The new ideas with the new generations in this movie represent progress.
There is not much online about Ever After. However, there is a lot about Cinderella. Here is an interesting article written about the Cinderella myth in general, not specifically about this movie. However, I find the introduction interesting and relevant to this film.
Come back next week!