Ever After: A Cinderella Story is a 1998 film inspired by the fairy tale Cinderella, directed by Andy Tennant and starring Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston and Dougray Scott. The screenplay is written by Tennant, Susannah Grant, and Rick Parks. The original music score is composed by George Fenton. The film's closing theme song "Put Your Arms Around Me" is performed by the rock band Texas.
The usual pantomime and comic/supernatural elements are removed and the story is instead treated as historical fiction, set in Renaissance-era France. It is often seen as a modern, post-feminism interpretation of the Cinderella myth.
In the 19th century, Grande Dame Marie Therese summons the brothers Grimm to her palace, where the brothers discuss their interpretation of the Cinderella story and notice a painting displayed in the room. Marie shows the brothers a glass slipper and tells them the story of Danielle de Barbarac, the true story of Cinderella. In 16th-century France, Auguste de Barbarac, father of 8-year-old Danielle, marries Rodmilla de Ghent, a wealthy baroness with two young daughters, but dies of a heart attack shortly afterward. This causes Baroness to envy Auguste's affection for Danielle and treat her miserably. One of her stepsisters, Marguerite, abuses her while the other stepsister, Jacqueline, keeps quiet. By the time Danielle is 18, she has been reduced to a servant in her own house, raising bees and crops on the manor, and clinging to her father's last gift, a copy of Thomas More's Utopia. While collecting apples, Danielle sees a man stealing her father's horse, and unseats him with an apple. When she recognizes he is Prince Henry, she abases herself. He gives her a bag of gold in exchange for her silence. She decides to use the money to rescue their servant, Maurice, whom the Baroness has sold to pay her debts.
Henry's escape from the duties of court is foiled when he encounters a band of gypsies robbing an old man. He learns that the old man is Leonardo da Vinci, who has been summoned to court, then returns with him. Meanwhile, Danielle has dressed as a "lady of the court" and gone to buy back Maurice, but the guards refuse, saying he is being deported to the New World colonies. She argues for his release, and when Henry overhears he orders Maurice's release. Amazed by Danielle's intelligence, he begs for her name. Danielle instead gives him her mother's name, "Comtesse Nicole de Lancret". King Francis and Queen Marie of France tell Henry that he must choose a bride before the upcoming masquerade ball, or he will have to wed the Spanish princess Gabriella. All the noble families receive an invitation, and at first Danielle believes she is included. When collecting truffles, she meets Henry again by the river, in the company of Leonardo. They engage in a lively debate before Danielle runs off. Henry searches for her, inviting her to visit the library of a nearby monastery. On the way home, they are accosted by the gypsies, who are amused by Danielle's outrage and agree to release her with whatever she can carry. She picks up Henry, and they laughingly offer them a horse. They spend the night in the gypsy camp, before sharing their first kiss and arranging to meet again.
The next morning, Danielle catches the Baroness and Marguerite stealing her mother's dress and slippers for Marguerite to wear for the ball. Danielle fights with Marguerite until Marguerite threatens to throw Utopia into the fireplace. Danielle returns her mother's dress to the Baroness in exchange for the book, but Marguerite burns it in the fire anyway out of spite. When she meets Henry the next day, she wishes to tell him the truth,