I really enjoyed the movie Ever After when it first came out, and this past week, when I saw that it was available for streaming on Netflix, I was excited to watch it again. I remembered it as a fairly fluffy, feel-good movie with some funny parts, and when rewatching it, I wasn't disappointed--it did make me feel good, and I once again chuckled at the exchanges between the step-sister Jacqueline and the Captain of the Guard. I was also pleasantly surprised--while it is a feel-good movie, it is more than just fluff, since Danielle (the Cinderella figure) is very much an agent of her own change. She doesn't just sit around waiting for Prince Henry to rescue her; she, in fact, is the one who is the rescuer, with one of the opening scenes in the movie being her rescue of a servant who is about to be shipped off to the Americas.
But what intrigued me most about the movie this time was the frame for the Cinderella story. Instead of starting with the fairy tale itself, the movie starts with the Brothers Grimm visiting the Grande Dame of France to discuss their latest collection of tales. The Grande Dame criticizes their version of the story, asking if they would permit her to "set the record straight"--she then tells the story of her great-great-grandmother, Danielle de Barbarac, who was the real Cinderella. The movie then cuts to the story of Cinderella within the frame, which takes up the majority of the movie, but at the end we once again return to the frame. The Grande Dame tells the Brothers Grimm that while Cinderella and her prince did live happily ever after, "the point, gentlemen, is that they lived."
Really? That's the point?