(This is the beginning of a new weekly feature in the blog, Flashback to Feisty Females in Film. I think the title gives away what it’s all about–feel free to reminisce with us!)
Danielle de Barbarac
Year we got to know her:
Best known for:
showing up her witchy step-sister Marguerite with her mind and her sass, eventually saving herself from emprisonment and bagging the Prince of France in Ever After
Why she deserves a second look:
After my review of 500 Days of Summer I was trying to think of women with agency in film, so I pulled out an old guilty pleasure, Ever After, which I haven’t seen since, oh, 1998. As my flatmate pointed out, “That’s one of those movies that every girl deep down secretly loves.” And after watching it I wonder why we’re all so ashamed–Danielle is freaking awesome. She quotes Utopia to the Prince! She doesn’t judge the gypsies by their station in society! She doesn’t win the Prince with trickery or lies but with her personality and her thoughts and her awesomeness! She saves herself from the freaky Le Pieu! And (clearly my favorite) she convinces the Prince to open a library!! What’s not to love?
Sure some may bash it as a “chick flick” (grumblegrumble) but I would rather have my (hypothetical) young girls watching this film than, say, Twilight (don’t even get me started on that film). While sister Marguerite may be the classically beautiful and beguiling one, she’s a rotten person, and Danielle wins the Prince by simply being herself. Ever After smartly takes a classic story and reworks it in a new way that on the one hand doesn’t make the woman look helpless but on the other hand doesn’t make the man look like a bumbling twat either. Danielle is a strong assertive female and she definitely deserves to be our first Feisty Female in film. So bust out those old VHS tapes for this one and don’t be ashamed to like it–it even has a 92% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes! (Eat that you 49% rotten rating Bella and Edward!)