Ah, family. They love you, support you, take you in when no one else will, and put up with all your crazy issues—at least, they're supposed to. And boy does Ella's family have issues. Her mother dies, her father's a jerk, and her stepfamily is greedy and heartless. People in Ella Enchanted marry for status and for money, while loving relationships seem like an afterthought. Luckily, she's got a pretty nice family of choice: Mandy is kinder to Ella than the rest of her living family put together, while Areida's friendship helps Ella deal with the nastiness of her stepsisters at boarding school. So, you know: family. Can't live with 'em, can't feed 'em to the ogres. Ella's mom must've done a good job of raising her, since this brilliant solution never occurs to Ella.
There are more unhappy than happy marriages in Ella Enchanted.
In Ella Enchanted, having no family would be better than having a rotten family.