Episode #226: Ever After – Comfort Rewatch



Today, we are rewatching the 1998 movie, Ever After, directed by Andy Tennant and starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston.

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Show Notes:

Decor inspiration:

DaVinci’s art studio – very beautiful

Danielle’s farmhouse – limewash exterior, very cottage core

Other cozy inspiration (fashion, food, drink or anything?)-

DaVinci’s painting of Danielle

Netted hair pieces

Danielle’s costume at the ball with the wings and her face covered in glitter

Braided hairstyles

All the dresses

Jewelry – necklaces and broaches

Rate this movie from 0 to 5 crowns

Elsie – 5

Emma – 4

Miss an Episode? Get Caught Up!

Episode 226 Transcript:

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast, your cozy comfort listen.  Today we’re rewatching the 1998 movie Ever After directed by Andy Tennant and starring Drew Barrymore and Angelica Houston. Okay, just like right off the top, I have to say Angelica Houston slays in this role, and is one of my ultimate icons because of Morticia Addams, like of all time, but I thought she was a very good evil character in this movie. I loved her. 

Emma: Yeah, she’sone of those actors that I think of as like a character actor, because I do feel like she does a lot of villains or just like more severe roles, but then you can tell she can just act. She’s just a good actor. But I do think of her as some of the things like Mortica Addams.

Elsie: Yeah, she’s in a Wes Anderson movie. 

Emma: She’s amazing. 

Elsie: Yes, she’s an icon. I mean Drew Barrymore is too, but Angelica Houston, I feel like is my number one. 

Emma: I hadn’t really watched this in quite a while too. And I was just like, how young is Drew Barrymore? I usually am not googling like actors names right away, but I was like, I have to know. She looks like a child to me.

Elsie: How old was she? 

Emma: She’s 23. She’s a baby. She was 23 when it came out. So she was probably 22 when they were filming. 

Elsie: So you know how back in the day on our about page of our blog, we had all of our team do their crushes, their celebrity crushes. I remember one of the men who we worked with at one point put Drew Barrymore in Ever After. And I always remember that and I got it. I was thinking about it when I was watching her especially with like her glitter face and I was like, okay, I do you get it. She’s just like, so radiant and beautiful and just like magical and really unique in this movie. 

Emma: This is a very fun damsel in distress slash damsel who’s pushing back the whole time, you know? It’s a very fun character. Very fun take on Cinderella. Love it. So I guess we should describe the movie if anyone hasn’t seen Ever After then you just heard that it’s kind of a Cinderella story. So it’s if Cinderella was a true story, it would be very much like Ever After. Danielle’s father dies when she is young and her stepmother makes her work as a servant. One day Danielle pretends to be a courtier. Is that how you say it? 

Elsie: Courtier

Emma: You can tell I’m very Midwestern.  Courtier to help a fellow servant escape from being taken to the Americas. I believe as a slave. She captures the eye of the most unlikely person the Crown Prince of France, Henry. The two fall in love, but they are up against Daniels ruthless stepmother and her spoiled stepsisters, mainly one stepsister. One of them is actually pretty nice. However, with a servant’s help Danielle’s kind stepsister, Jacqueline, and Leonardo da Vinci, at danielle’s side. Danielle and Prince Henry’s love can survive even though he’s a prince and she’s just a servant girl.

Elsie: It’s incredible. 

Emma: So it’s a Cinderella story more or less.

Elsie: Yes, a tell as old as time, but with Leonardo da Vinci. Which I thought that was a nice touch. It’s very unhinged. And I like the painting. I’ll probably talk about like eight times the episode. The painting was one of my favorite parts of the whole movie. It’s really magical. After I started Googling the Mona Lisa and like looking at I was like, does Drew Barrymore look exactly like the Mona Lisa or what? Like, she kind of does. So I feel like she has that like classical oil painting look in this movie. 

Emma: I agree. DaVinci in this movie, his character, him being in at all is unhinged. And just like his relationship with the prince and just things he does. He’s also to me like the funniest character has the best one liners. So it’s a blast. 

Elsie: It’s fun. I would definitely say it hold up. Although I think for me, it was best enjoyed in the 1990s but I still think it’s a wonderful classic. I do have to say just like I put it up on the same shelf with the Brandy Cinderella. I think that Brandy Cinderella is still my number one but they’re, you know, almost the same, but also very different because that’s a musical and this isn’t. So anyway, I guess that’s just like choose your own adventure.

Emma: This one’s a little more they’re trying to do more of a period piece. Yeah, that one’s more of a Disney musicial.

Elsie: This one’s trying to be like a Jane Austen Cinderella.

Emma: Yes. Yeah, I would say so. So if you like that kind of period piece feel. I think then this is your Cinderella. 

Elsie: Yeah, I love them both. So decor inspiration we loved, hated, strong reactions. So I will say this movie was not as much of a decor banger as I was expecting it to be. I thought it was very beautiful. But I also kind of thought it was like pretty cliche. It was like, you could have used the same sets for like any movie from like A Knight in Shining Armor period like type of vibe. 

Emma: There was also a lot more time spent outdoors. Then I remembered, like there’s less time inside palaces or inside country manners or whatever. So there’s a lot of just like being out in the woods. And there’s a lake and cliffs and different things like that. So, which is cool, but not really really any decor to speak of.

Elsie: Yeah, the decor is good. But I will say though, for me, the thing that was way above the decor was the fashion in this movie. So specifically makeup and hair. Yeah, the hair pieces, so they have like a lot of kneaded hair pieces that are like so cool. I want to try to get one of my daughters to do a costume like that like a period princess because I think that she would really like it. And I just like really liked those knitted hair pieces. So I want to get one and then the part at the end, obviously when she’s wearing the wings, and she has like jewels glued on her face, and she has like almost her whole face is covered in glitter. And she’s like, very powdery white. It’s like a vibe. Like I’ve never seen another look like that. It was very original. And it was definitely to me the main moment of the whole movie. 

Emma: I feel like a lot of people probably tried to do that kind of vibe for their prom because it was just this like moment.

Elsie: I should have it. I’m not even gonna say what my prom looks were but they were so bad compared to that. And I really really blew it.

Emma: I had one fairy one, but I didn’t go this fairy length so really messed up on that. 

Elsie: We did senior pictures of Emma where she was wearing fairy wings. So I did want to talk about the fairy wings because I feel like with this movie and Romeo and Juliet, it’s like fairy wings are the ultimate 90s iconic thing. I don’t know. It was like a moment in time.

Emma: I also feel like butterflies were such a thing in the 90s too. So something about wings. People were into delicate wings. It was the era for that in the 90s. DaVinci makes her wings because He says I’ll have to make the wings. Presumably he makes them for her right before the ball.

Elsie: He is the best character. 

Emma: Yeah, he is. 

Elsie: Oh, his little art studio. That was very, very beautiful part of the movie. I can’t say there was like a room that like threw me other than the party at the end where she like comes in and it’s mainly because of her outfit. So it’s mainly because of the fashion. And I think the art studio was probably my other favorite. 

Emma: I did like her farmhouse. They show the exterior of it a lot. They’re inside it for some scenes, like there’s breakfast scene where you see like their dining room and things like that. But you actually see the exterior of it a lot more as she’s like, feeding the pigs and like in the very beginning when her father’s riding away and he has his I guess heart attack or something where he passes. And I liked seeing that. It’s very like that look that people are kind of into right now the lime wash kind of wall vibe, where it’s all one color but it looks weathered. It was very cottage core. I mean, it is a cottage. It’s a farmhouse in France, I guess. And so I thought that was really pretty, but not really anything to speak of like, I would definitely vacation somewhere like that. It looks like a very, like relaxing place to read a book, hang out.

Elsie: Get eggs from chickens. 

Emma: Yeah, that’d be cool. 

Elsie: Live on the land. I like it. It is very beautiful. I mean, I don’t know, I think that that’s a funny thing about period movies is that like the poor people houses and the rich people houses are kind of equal because the poor people houses are so aesthetically pleasing.

Emma: Yeah, well, and also, this is so random, but I’m very into kitchens. And I think most people are and I think like a kitchen is, I mean, almost every Nancy Meyer movies we’ve talked about on here, or just generally we talked about the kitchen for a long time. And they either usually don’t show a kitchen because it’s like where the servants prepare the food. The main characters usually don’t hang out in the kitchen. It’s not like the heart of the home like it is in modern times as people cook for themselves. If you have servants, then you never go into your kitchen. So I feel like you just don’t see spaces that feel homey, if that makes any sense. Because it’s just a whole different way of life presumably. I’m not really a historian. I’m basing this off fictional movies and books. So I think that’s part of the problem is I’m like well, I want to see like how you made your fridge look cute, but that’s not a part of this era of time. It’s just not going to be part of this, you know, and I don’t really want to see like a pot boiling over a fireplace like that’s cool but it’s not to me like, oh, that’s inspiring decor that inspires my kitchen. I’m like, no, I have a stove. Like, you know, it’s just so different. So I think that there’s like, kind of a disconnect there with period piece movies where like, there’s not the same thing to appreciate because it’s just a different way of life. 

Elsie: That’s true. When I had to explain to my kids that people just don’t have servants anymore, it’s just not a thing that’s done because it’s in all the princess movies. So they didn’t understand that.

Emma: Like, well, you can pay someone to help you with certain services., like cleaning your home. But that’s not a servant and you don’t call them that.

Elsie: Yeah, times have changed. Okay, so back on track. Is there any other cozy inspiration that really like vibes you in this movie?

Emma: I think so. In addition to the kind of hair nets that you were talking about the kind of like they have like little pearls.

Elsie: Braids, a lot of good braid and a lot of puffy headbands that are iconic.

Emma: I thought, if you want some braid inspiration, this movie is there for you. Because there’s a lot of up dos that are sometimes messy, like she’s gonna go work in the field. And sometimes they’re like going to a ball. So there’s a lot of like, different hairstyles that I thought were very inspiring if you’re a long hair gal. 

Elsie: I wonder if that was Drew Barrymore’s real hair not because it was so long too. 

Emma: I assume it’s extensions. They’d be so much easier to braid but I don’t know. Beats me.

Elsie: Yeah, I want one of those dresses. But I feel like there’s just not enough occasions in life to wear Renaissance clothes if you’re not interested in going to a renaissance fair. You just want to wear the dress. You know, it’s a little hard.

Emma: When does it come up? I agree. No problem. 

Elsie: I like those like aprony looking dresses, you know, with like the underdress. Those are really cute to me. 

Emma: Yeah. Kind of a corset type top. It’s a look. 

Elsie: Ah, yeah. And like the one that has like it had like, open elbows. Do you know what I’m talking about? It was one of the Angelica Houston dresses. Yeah, her black dress is like I think it was my favorite dress in the whole movie. And she was wearing it quite a bit. It was like a black velvet. You’ll see it when you watch the movie. I was mostly into the clothes. Not gonna lie.

Emma: Yeah, clothes, makeup hair. I was very into all that. There’s quite a few jewelry. There’s like brooches and necklaces that are kind of part of the story. Those were fun and felt very like stuff you would see at a flea market. You know, I don’t know, very enjoyable. There’s one scene to where she’s like in her underwear. I think they’ve gone swimming, I guess but  she’s still basically wearing like a gown. 

Elsie: Very covered up underwear.

Emma: Yeah. 

Elsie: I don’t remember that. 

Emma: It’s the scene where the gypsies capture them. And they’re like Drew Barrymore, you can take anything you can carry. And then she takes the prince and they all laugh and then they become friends. Which is my favorite scene in the movie because it is such a funny and daring thing to do. Yeah, but she’s wearing this like hilarious underwear that looks awful, because it’s basically a gown tied around her weird.

Elsie: I think that that kind of stuff would be scary.

Emma: Seems like a lot of laundry. 

Elsie: I love modern underwear. You know what I mean? It just like does the job, to the point. Like, no extra stuff under there. Okay. So before we do the rating, I do have to do an impression of the ending because I finished it this morning by the way, I do that almost every time.

Emma: I show up and she’s finishing the movie, always. It’s like 9am And I’m like, wow, you really leave this till the last second. 

Elsie: I do and this one, I actually watched most of this with my kids. But then, you know, there was like 30 minutes left or something. So I got to watch the good part this morning. Because the last 30 minutes I do feel like is kind of like 75% of what is aesthetically pleasing about the movie. So anyway, this is my impression. So first of all, he’s like, in love with her. And he’s like, who is this mysterious, beautiful, magical woman and he’s like, mom, I don’t want to marry anyone else except for her. And she’s like, okay, fine, but she’s already engaged. So, anyway, when he thinks he has to marry the wrong person, and he’s about to announce it. Then she walks in and she’s wearing her beautiful white gown with the wings and the jewels. And she’s like, I really have to tell you something, and he’s like, whatever it is, it’ll be fine. 

Emma: Which is a real gamble, when the person you love says I really need to tell you something. You should maybe listen, like what is it he has to say.

Elsie: He’s like, I’m gonna marry her. And the evil stepmother is like she’s, what do they call it? She’s a servant, actually. And he’s like, ewww actually you’re servant. What? Nevermind. And that to me was like, I’m sorry, but you’re not forgiven. You’re not forgiven five minutes later when you want to marry her. 

Emma: If we’re gonna do some script critiques. Here’s the thing. This guy sucks. The entire movie. She’s like, well, so you read Utopia, but you’re still a dick. And he’s like, oh, yeah, definitely, I’m a prince. That’s most of their falling in love dialog is she’s like, don’t you think that everyone should have rights? And he’s like, ewww no, I’m a prince and other people are commoners. And I guess she’s into that. I guess. I can see why he likes her. He feels challenged and no one else challenges him in his life, probably because he’s a prince. So he’s like, oh, this is interesting conversation. But for her, I’m like, why do you like this guy? He seems like an absolute dick. Like, every conversation you have with him. You’re like telling him what a dick he is and he truly is saying some like, not cool stuff. And then when he finds out, she’s a servant. He’s a dick. And I’m like, that’s not surprising. This whole movie, he was doing this whole time. So yeah, this is kind of, you know, DaVinci had a lot more faith in him than I think I would have. I would have been like, I don’t know DaVinci I think he’s gonna be a dick when he finds out about the servant thing.  And he was. I thought you were gonna do an impression of the wedding scene. He’s about to marry the princess of Spain. I think I can’t remember what country, the crying.

Elsie: That was an amazing scene because he lets her get all the way up there. I mean, they really drag it out. And then he’s just like ha na. 

Emma: He just laughed. You have to see like, I’m not going to do an impression. But I cannot imagine that actresses audition, because she doesn’t have any other lines. That’s your audition scene, there’s no other lines. So that’s what she came in to do one day in an office was this crazy crying for like a solid probably like three minutes walking down an aisle with a veil over her. She’s crying because she was in love with someone else and he realizes I’m in love with someone else. It’s this funny scene, but her crying is hilariously ridiculous. And I thought you’re gonna do that? 

Elsie: Oh,yeah. No, it was 1990s gold. I feel like it hit the right comedy marks of the era. , I thought it was beautiful gorgeous, beautiful gorgeous. So I’m just gonna give it five out of five crowns. I basically don’t give any movie that comes on our podcast for a complete episode like less than that.

Emma: I’d give it four. 

Elsie: Because the guy’s a dick too much.

Emma: Because the guy’s a dick too much. 

Elsie: They could have made him redeeming but I don’t feel like they usually put that kind of effort into the prince characters. 

Emma: I mean, they give him the whole like, he’s like, I’m gonna make a university that’s free for anyone. But then he’s still a dick to her when he finds out she’s a servant. So I’m like I don’t know, man. That guy sucks. You could have done better Drew Barrymore. I know he’s a prince but you could have better. You could have been like, DaVinci, do you have any nephews? 

Elsie: Yeah, okay. That’s an idea. 

Emma: Seems like a fun family to hang out with for the holidays. 

Elsie: Wow. Oh my gosh. Yeah, that’s fun to imagine. They should do another movie that’s just about him because I do want a DaVinci movie now but with that exact character. 

Emma: Yeah, he was good.

Elsie: Trivia Time. One of the few adaptations that depicts one member of the step family as being sympathetic to Cinderella, or Danielle in this film, is this version. Jacqueline is rather friendly with Danielle compared to her abusive sister and mother. Yeah, that’s why in the end, she doesn’t have to become a cleaning lady or whatever their punishment is. She gets to just like, be happy and be normal.

Emma:  She wants to marry that other guy who’s like the prince’s right hand man or something. I don’t know. 

Elsie: Yeah, she gets to get married and have a happy life because she was a little bit nice.

Emma: I thought she was pretty nice. She clearly doesn’t really have any power in her family. So it’s difficult to affect change with no power.

Elsie: Good point. 

Emma: I think that she, you know, made it clear her feelings towards Daniella. I thought was pretty good. I thought she deserved to not be a cleaning lady like the other two. 

Elsie: Good. Yeah. That was sweet. Okay. 

Emma: As depicted in the film, the real Leonardo DaVinci kept the Mona Lisa with him all the time until his death. Interesting. I love it. I can’t think about being like so into one piece of art that you’re working on that you just keep it all the time. I’m a very like, finisher. You know what I mean? I’m very like I’m done with this. I’m sick of this. I like get tired and once I’m done with something I like want to move on. It’s interesting to think about like, kind of perfecting something or just maybe he wasn’t even painting on it. He was just keeping it until his death. Interesting. 

Elsie: Maybe he just loved it. I like that. It’s just a personal attachment. Yeah, it’s interesting. In the Gypsy scene where Danielle carries off Prince Henry, he was just too heavy for her to carry. So the crew had to put the actor in a harness with wires to make it look like she was carrying him off. That’s funny. I couldn’t tell.

Emma: I think I could lift up my husband the way she does. She puts in like kind of over her shoulder. I don’t think I could lift Jeremy. He’s quite a bit taller.

Elsie: I’m going to try it now. I’m going to try. Now I’m just curious.

Emma: She doesn’t walk that far. I mean, presumably in the movie, she would have to walk further. But like what they show the audience is not too far. I don’t know how tall that actor was compared to Drew Barrymore or anything like that. It’s not a criticism of Drew Barrymore or her strength. I’m just like, huh, I wonder if I could pick up my husband. I’m like, I think I could but it would be hard.

Elsie: What if you could do it, but you were making like horrible faces the whole time? Because that’s probably how I’ll be. It’s like, yeah, you can technically do it, but I wouldn’t want to do it on camera. 

Emma:  I’m like, I could do it but I’m six months pregnant right now.  So give me a little bit not right now. In the original Grimm version, this step mother and daughter had their eyes picked out by birds. In this version, the set mother and daughter are forced to work in a laundry type place. Usually, these places they use lie of soap and after prolonged use would cause blindness in the laundry. It’s really sad. 

Elsie: I guess they’re saying that it’s like sort of the same outcome or like a little nod to the original but without the pecking. That’s weird. I don’t know. I do think I love the like, true trivia about how fairy tales are like, very messed up. I think it’s very, like fun and cool. And like, I don’t know, it’s kind of vibe. It kind of makes the old days seem Vibier than you usually think of them as well. 

Emma: If you’ve ever, like been working on your book, and you’re like, oh, is this too offensive? I’m not trying to be. I don’t wanna shock everyone. And then you read something like this. And you’re like, the Brothers Grimm didn’t care. They’re just gonna say, you know, it’s like, whoa dude, you really went there. 

Elsie: Yeah. And it’s supposed to be for children. I think  that’s delightful, in a way, you know, it’s fun. Okay, one of the few Cinderella stories where the Prince and the Cinderella character in this case named Danielle get to know each other and fall in love over time before the ball, rather than the love at first sight at the ball itself. I like that. I think I think that falling in love at the ball is like kind of boringer than this. 

Emma: Yeah, we kind of already mentioned the 90s Romeo and Juliet  adaptation because the wings, and they do the whole fall in love at first sight, which is, I think part of the play too. Although do they have the balcony scene and then they fall in love? I think they do fall in love at first sight in the real Shakespeare version. Anyway. Yeah, I think either way, you kind of have some things you’re up against as a story writer or person making the film film director whatever you’re doing, you know, because again, I kind of feel like he’s such a dick every time they talk in this movie that I’m like, why did  Danielle like him? Almost feel like love for sight would have made some more sense until you hear him talk and you’re like, oh God, this guy. 

Elsie: Huh? Boo. 

Emma: Boo. Okay, moving on. The only Cinderella story where the Cinderella character in this case, Danielle is not the only servant kept in the house. There are three other servants who stay Maurice, who Danielle bought him back, Louise and Paulette. In most Cinderella stories, the stepmother gets rid of all the other servants and only keeps the Cinderella character to use as a slave to do the work.

Elsie: I mean, I think that makes more sense than selling candlesticks to pay your mortgage. So I don’t know. But it’s probably just like nice having more characters. 

Emma: I feel like it gave her people to talk to and like situations. I think they also free her before the ball. So it’s like, if they hadn’t been there, there would have been some difficult, she would had to figure that out. You know, she would have had to Rapunzel herself out the window or something. I don’t know. So yeah, there’s that. I will say though it’s kind of interesting to think about, she was like I got rid of all the other servants except Cinderella for money reasons. I’d be like that’s actually in some ways, as weird as it sounds a small like little bit of mercy, because Cinderella couldn’t have been the best servant. She grew up kind of privileged, so she probably wasn’t the best cleaner. So she would have been keeping her because she was the stepdaughter, you know, as opposed to keeping whoever would have been the most experienced quality servant. So in a way, it would be like showing a bit of mercy just to keep her.

Elsie: I think that she, like, I don’t think she was really showing mercy though because I remember when she said like, did you ever love me? And she was like, I don’t know, do I love a rock in my shoe? I think she just was like, well, I have to keep this stepdaughter who I don’t love anyway, so I guess I’ll just make her a servant. 

Emma: I think in this version, they’re trying to show us too that she did really love the father. The stepmother really loves the father. And like his dying words is that he loves his daughter. I think she’s feels some kind of jealousy. They kind of show it on the actresses face. Angelica Houston does this kind of look where you’re like, oh, she’s a bit jealous here.  I think they’re trying to give us some kind of impression like that, which is like being jealous of a child is obviously stupid. But, you know, I think that’s what they’re kind of trying to do. She felt a competition with her stepdaughter.

Elsie: That makes sense. Okay, well, I love the movie. Lots of famous people. I think it’s definitely a fun rewatch, if you haven’t seen it since the 90s. I don’t think I had seen it, definitely in more than 10 years, but I’ve maybe seen it once since the 90s. So it was fun to like, see how it held up to my imagination. For some reason. It was like a lot different in my memory. Like I remembered it very differently. So and I have no idea why. Just like the way it looked.

Emma: Yeah, had definitely been well for me, because I was like, how old is Drew Barrymore? Is she even out of high school in this movie? I was like, okay, she’s 23. 

Elsie: She was a child actor. 

Emma: Yeah, I was like, is she 18 in this movie? She looks so young. Yeah, she’s 23. 

Elsie: Amazing. So it’s time for Nova’s joke or fact. Hey, Nova, what do you have for us this week?

Nova: A meditation. 

Emma: All right. I’m closing my eyes. 

Nova: Imagine you just got onto a plane. You draw on your pad of paper. You take some deep breaths. And suddenly, we’re here. You go out. And you see Florida. You go and book a room at a hotel. Stay and go to the beach. You order some ice cream. Sit on a lounge chair and watch the waves up down. Then you go back to the hotel, sleep. The next morning you get some room service. Imagine what you’re going to eat. It tastes good. Then you have some lunch. How about an ice cream sundae to round it off. And then you go back, you see dolphins. Then you see a starfish. Then you quickly get up and you search for some seashells. Then, suddenly you trip on a beautiful seashell. You put it in your bag and keep on walking. You see some crabs digging in the sand. You dig up some clams. Then you go back to your hotel. What a day. You sleep for the last time, pack up your bags, go back home and take the picture out that you secretly had all along and you forgot something. That your friends are with you all along. 

Elsie: Love it. That was my favorite one. So relaxed. 

Nova: Now open your eyes. And first before I go. Let’s take three deep breaths one more time. Remember, always take deep breaths when you need them. They will help you be calm enough. And remember, every time I do a meditation first, we’re gonna do at least three breaths before we do it. Bye.

Elsie: Thank you so much for listening. If you have a comfort rewatch movie you would like us to talk about it, you can submit it at podcast@abeautifulmess.com or call our voicemail at 417-893-0011. We will be back next week with a deep dive into art.


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