Ossus Library Index Fantasy Movie Index


Directed by Andy Tennant (1998, 20th Century Fox)
Starring Drew Barrymore, Dougray Scott and Angelica Houston

A prince falls in love with a peasant girl pretending to be of noble blood, who fights off her evil step-mother and step-sister.



5 stars

February 2nd, 2008 on DVD for the 5th time  
    Watching this movie for the 5th time (has it only been that many?), I found myself wondering how they pulled it off. There was not one slow moment in the entire movie. Every scene left me thinking that this was five-star material, all the way through. Most movies that follow the formula boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-again have some sort of dull fight where nobody is rational. This one had deception, of course, and she never managed to tell him the truth, but it was because she was overwhelmed by him, and her sudden elevation beyond her station. If asked to pick my favorite moment in the movie, it would be very difficult, because I like them all. I loved Danielle's character, from throwing an apple at the Prince, to trying to carry him away from the Gypsies, to their talk on the beach where she berates him ("why do you bait me?" she asks, and he responds "why do you rise to the occasion?"). She is indeed the most forward-thinking person (actually the most rational person) aside from DaVinci -is always thinking outside the box.

So I went and bought the DVD, and it is nice to have, mainly for the widescreen elements, which simply add to the beauty of the shots. Once again, I just love this movie!



5 stars

May 23rd, 2004 on Video for the 4th time  
    I can't say that I was ever on the edge of tears this time around (see below), but I still love this movie. I have been smitten with Drew Barrymore for a very long time, now, and I think she is so beautiful in this movie, with her gorgeous long hair, the way she smiles, looks confused, and bites her bottom lip, and the way she looks in the beautiful gowns she gets to wear.

The movie is funny, tragic, and full of love, all at the same time. I like the way they poke fun at the Disney version of Cinderella ("some would say fairy godmothers and magic pumpkins were closer to the truth..."), and the way Marguerite has temper tantrums.

Instead of a fairy godmother, we get Leonardo DaVinci, who is played wonderfully. Watching him walk on water, or conspiring against the stepmother was terrific. He even makes Danielle wings, so that she can soar (metaphorically) across the lands.

Speaking of stepmothers, Angelica Houston does an amazing job being devious, snobbish, and doing everything to try and get out of the provincial lands she finds herself in.

The countryside was beautiful, as were the sets, especially the monks' library and the old ruins. The music added to the beauty; I just love the main theme, and the royal ball.

The supporting cast also had great roles, and knew not to take them too seriously! Gaston was great, scheming because he knew Danielle's heart -telling the Prince that he knew where the woman he was looking for was, having Danielle running home to meet him! Jacqueline was fun, also, as the daughter who doesn't get any respect. The short scene where she is dressed as a horse, consorting with the Prince's guard around the buffet table, was hilarious.

It's unfortunate that the DVD doesn't appear to come with any extras or behind-the-scenes information, such that it doesn't seem worth buying. I suppose it would be worth it simply for the widescreen and stereo components by themselves, but I really think there should be more, since I already own the video version.

I know that so many people disagree with me, but that doesn't stop me from loving this movie. And Drew, of course!



5 stars

August 10th, 1999 on Video for the 3rd time  
    There were times I was almost in tears this time I watched it, from the sheer beauty and tragedy of it all. The prince is very regal-looking, but also has the air of Han Solo. A rogue every woman would fall for? I still think adding DaVinci into the story was a brilliant idea, and of course, this has to be Barrymore's best role in her career so far.  


5 stars

March 19th, 1999 on Video for the 2nd time  
    This is a story I will watch over and over again. A wonderful romance. Barrymore is gorgeous and aloof, as much as her step-mother is evil and conniving. The backdrop of an arranged marriage for the prince is nicely set, too. And DaVinci is wonderful!  

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