Flashback to Feisty Females in Film

(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!)

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Feisty Female:
Danielle de Barbarac
Year we got to know her:
1998
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!)

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8 responses to “Flashback to Feisty Females in Film

  1. I don’t love this movie secretly and deep down. I love this movie openly, and watch it often.

  2. Agreed. It’s nice to see a film with two intelligent three dimensional characters who find love through something other than sex.

  3. I totally agree with you about Ever After. It is a wonderful movie. Drew Barrymore’s character, Danielle was an intelligent, strong willed young woman.

    Its too bad chick flicks get such a bad reputation from some of the silly movies that Hollywood offers to women. But there are some movies, that are labeled “chick flicks” that really have something to say to women and that show us in all of our various moods.

    Julie & Julia is considered a chick flick, but it is a wonderful movie. I would dare anyone to call Meryl Streep a “chick”.

  4. Testify, Mayhem! This movie rules and so does Angelica Houston (maybe not her character, but the woman can arch a brow, let me tell you). Plus, it has one of the most blush-worthy codpieces since Henry VIII.

    One thing that always bugs me: the totally not fat “fat” stepsister (who ends up rockin, too) is sent merrily off to presumably marry the less than swoon-worthy guard dude.

  5. Small clarification: Doesn’t Danielle convince the Prince to open a University where everyone can study– not a library? I think she convinces him to do it around the time that they spend with the gypsies after they go to the monastery’s library.

  6. Yes. The clarification is correct. I agree about the ‘fat’ sister. I think she is gorgeous and so’s the guard.

    One more slight clarification: Danielle DOES lie to the prince about who she is, but that was not her original intent for disguising herself and WHO SHE IS is not what wins the prince.

    I think that Drew was a fabulous choice for Danielle because she is not the typical ‘hollywood beauty’ but more ‘normal’ looking. She also has a sturdy/strong aura about her. She radiates this womanly strength that is so intriguing.

    May I also remind you all that she pretty much squats the prince when she picks him up to carry away from the gypsies.

    All in all–I agree. This movie is fabulous from every standpoint!: the loyal best friend, the encouraging artist, the horrid family, the strong female lead, the dynamics, the reality. It’s truly fabulous.

    • that is one of the best parts of the movie!

      “Anything I can carry? May I have your word on that, sir?”

      It’s kind of weird that they were playing paper rock scissors though isn’t it? Was that game around then? Wouldn’t it more adequately be like parchment quill tinder or something?

  7. (when I said ‘who she is’ I meant her rank and status–not her personality and character)

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