The Prince & Me (2004)
USA / English
"Finding your inner princess can be such a royal pain. "A fairy tale love-story about a pre-med student who falls in love with a Danish Prince who refused to...
A Very Familiar Story
Roger Ebert actually gave "The Prince and Me" zero stars which seems a
little harsh, as it does have a few universally enjoyable scenes and
decent performances from almost the entire cast. Unfortunately they are
saddled with a somewhat weak and completely predictable screenplay, and
a premise that has been used and reused.
Ebert compares it unfavorably with "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton" where
the same type of small town girl wins a date with a big Hollywood star,
who then falls in love with her freshness and sincerity. She begins to
struggle with the tedious real-life demands of what she thought would
be a glamorous life. Others compare it to 1954's "The Student Prince"
and its 1997 television remake, although not unfavorably as both
productions are considered barely competent. I think it is most like
"Coming to America", although it does not capture the humor and social
commentary of that film. I'm sure that the producers of "The Prince and
Me" drew considerable inspiration from the box office popularity of
"Coming to America. Unfortunately they failed to follow its example and
create a fictional monarchy, choosing instead to subject Denmark to the
indignity of this silly story.
The story obviously satisfies some basic yearning in the human psyche,
or at least the teenage female psyche. The most interesting thing about
"The Prince and Me" is the inspired way they successfully expanded
their target audience to include pre-teen girls. By casting Eliza
Bennett (with apologies to Jane Austen) as the Princes's adoring little
sister, Princess Arabella, they created a nice fantasy for this younger
demographic. To her credit, Eliza brings a lot of much needed charm to
The physical casting of the two leads is very good. Julia Stiles does
not exude a lot of sensuality but fits the role of a brainy American
college student, with ambitions to become a doctor. That Stiles is
convincing as a smart and serious young woman helps convince us when
Queen (Miranda Richardson) is eventually won over by her prospective
daughter-in- law. Their changing relationship is the one plot element
that you don't entirely see coming. And Luke Mably fits Americas idea
of a young prince, looking much like those Windsor boys. While the
pairings of Prince and little sister and of Queen and future Queen work
exceptionally well, the Stiles-Mably relationship has no chemistry and
seems terribly forced. So one just has to go with it and enjoy the
other elements of the film.
Once the story moves to Copenhagen it gets better as they do a good job
of presenting the entire experience from the point of view of Paige
Morgan (Stiles). With this it actually improves on "Coming to America"
and becomes much more like "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton".
This is one of those films where you can see every single plot
development from a million miles away. Although that will make very
little difference to it's target audience, others will find it makes
much of the film a yawn-fest.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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