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THE PRINCE AND ME (PG) (2004)

Paramount Pictures

Official Site

Director: Martha Coolidge

Producers: Mark Amin

Written by: Mark Amin, Katherine Fugate, Jack Amiel, Michael Begler

Cast: Julia Stiles, Luke Mably, Ben Miller, James Fox, Miranda Richardson

Rating:

Halfway into the story, I thought to myself—and not without a small amount of glee—that the writers had painted themselves into a corner. Not only were they pushing the message of following your dreams, but they had the audacity to declare that one must follow one’s heart, as well. Well, which one is it? Does love truly conquer all, or should noble and lifelong goals take top priority? Which moral memo would the writers champion once the two fail to coincide? After all, basic plot conflict demands that the coveted career and the coveted cutie stand on either side of the river. How on earth, I thought, are they going to navigate this baby? Well I’ll leave that for you to find out, but let me assure you that the outcome does make you smile—or at least laugh.

The Prince And Me is of that same make and model as similarly teen-pleasing movies She’s All That and Ten Things I Hate About You. Lessons are learned, love is found, lies are exposed, and a new hottie’s career is made. In this case that hottie is Luke Mably, who plays the rakish, lusty, irresponsible Prince Edvard (and is it my imagination, or does he bear an uncanny resemblance to Prince William?). Edvard is quite bored with his pampered life in Denmark and decides that he needs to “get away” for a while. A certain “Girls Gone Wild” commercial convinces him that Wisconsin is where it’s at, so he convinces Mummy and Daddy (Richardson and Fox) that he can make it on his own as an American college student. Enter Paige Morgan (Stiles), his brainy and unfortunate lab partner. Paige is a hard-working farmgirl with aspirations of becoming a doctor and the endless, humorless studying to back it up. Oh, and she isn’t at all affected by Eddie’s well-spoken charm, a fact which of course attracts him all the more.

The movie progresses exactly as the audience thinks and wants it to, with Paige letting loose and Eddie shaping up. The two characters both learn for the first time what “true love” means and how to hold onto it against all odds, including medical school and the royal Danish family. Speaking of the royal family, may I take a moment and ask my more traveled friends a question? Do Danes speak with British accents, or did the casting director just do a really crappy job? Only Queen Rosalind managed to speak with what could be labeled as a Danish accent, and even then I questioned why the characters spoke English all the time. Surely Danish isn’t all that bad. I mean, it’s got to sound better than German, right?

While there are a couple of laughs and a couple of dreamy sighs, neither the “aww” factor nor the adorable Stiles are enough to separate The Prince And Me from its many many many predecessors. It was cute, but nothing extraordinary or even memorable—it’s the kind of harmless feel-good movie they show on airplanes and TV demos at Best Buy. The PG rating is solid (only the slightest references to sex and two scenes with a shirtless Mabry), so mothers, feel free to send your 13-year-olds to the theater. The only harmful impression they might get from this movie is that cute boys with accents = princes in disguise. But really, haven’t we all been down that path?

— Emily Younger

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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