The Prince & Me

"Bad"

The Prince & Me Review


Fun fact about Julia Stiles, teen movie vet: She isn't much good in teen movies. She hit the right notes in 10 Things I Hate About You, playing a caustic outsider, but since then she's struggled to fit in with the Freddie Prinze/Selma Blair crowd. So long, in fact, that it's since become the Lindsay Lohan/Hilary Duff crowd (even if, in terms of youth-market trends, "so long" actually means about twelve hours).

Try as she might, Stiles doesn't fit comfortably within the framework. Her slightly deep voice has an intelligence to it that physically undermines her attempts to slum. Yet she persists. Unfortunately, I fear the onslaught of Down to You, Save the Last Dance, and now The Prince & Me has left Stiles a little stunted and worse for wear. She's spent so much time in the teen ghetto that even when she emerges in an allegedly grown-up movie like Mona Lisa Smile, something feels off. An aura of routine hangs in the air, and other actresses upstage her. Stiles may, in real life, resemble her character in The Prince & Me: smart, down-to-earth and good-humored. It's a tribute to the thinness of her starring roles that she still manages to come off awkward, even fake.

She's not a bad actress -- witness her successful side career as a go-to gal for Shakespeare remakes like Hamlet, O, and the aforementioned 10 Things (how odd for an acting career to reach its perfect apex in your first starring role). There's a clever nod to her Bard-heavy past in The Prince & Me; she plays Paige, a serious-minded college student who excels at science but can't stand Shakespeare. And who better to teach her about Shakespeare than Eddie (Luke Mably), a slacking hunk who also happens to be the Prince of Denmark on extended holiday.

And so The Prince & Me indulges in Hollywood's fantasy of choice for teen girls, a modern-day princess story. At least, it eventually does. This is a short movie that feels like two long ones: a limp romantic comedy and a wan romantic drama. Both are directed by Martha Coolidge, who brought such energy to cult classics Real Genius and Valley Girl, but none of her outsider sensibility is remotely at play in The Prince & Me. The script hits upon a few broadly funny ideas, like the fact that undercover Eddie's butler (Ben Miller) must shack up in a dorm, posing as a stuffy roommate. To the film's additional credit, the revelation that Eddie has been keeping his royal identity a secret from Paige is not treated, by the film, as occasion enough for a climax.

Even in the face of a relatively implausible setup, though, this is a movie that never pushes hard enough, never launching into the comedy of the situation with abandon. It's funny that Eddie returns from Thanksgiving break with Paige to find his butler addicted to videogames, but dousing the butler with cold water is no kind of punch line. I guess the movie is aiming for something else, but if I'm watching a fairy tale, even a semi-realistic one, I prefer punch lines.

By the way, have several dull young English women reported their love interests missing? I think I have a lead: They're all in America, romancing young ingénues. Luke Mably is this month's Matthew Goode (Chasing Liberty), and the thought of blandly "charming" makeshift rogues like this filling even half of a calendar sends shivers down my spine. And not the good kind.

Would it send the good kind of chills down your spine to learn that the story's outcome depends on finding a balance between dreams, responsibility, and love? Then boy, is this the movie for you.

DVD extras include a commentary from Coolidge, deleted scenes and gag reel, and a handful of making-of documentaries.

The prince and tree.



The Prince & Me

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 21st February 2006

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 4.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Martha Coolidge

Producer:

Starring: as Paige Morgan, as Prince Edvard, as Soren, as Queen Rosalind, as King Haraald

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.