A Film Review By Jason L. King
|Rating:Rated PG for some sex-related material and language
Starring:Julia Stiles, Luke Mably
Directed By:Martha Coolidge
I never wanted to be whisked away to a magical castle by a magical prince. But then again I am a guy. Come to think of it, I can’t really say I wanted to be whisked away to a magical castle and live a fairy tale life with a princess either. Being the pessimistic person I am, I would point out all the flaws in the relationship, such as plain and simple I would be outclassed. I know in fairy tales that is forgotten and true love triumphs over all differences. But don’t want that fairy tale ending where I have to worry about which fork to eat my salad with, and having to deal with all those pesky peasant people wanting my life of luxury. I guess the old saying “you can take a girl out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl” kind of comes into play both in my life and (if you replace girl with guy) and in my movie for the week, The Prince and Me.
If you are an avid reader of Box Office Boredom there should be no doubt in your mind that I, Jason King, am an addict. I’m not addicted to alcohol or drugs but instead to films that star an actor and an actress that few others admit to enjoying. Yes it’s true folks; I am addicted to films with Kevin Costner and Julia Stiles. I once also had a strange love for Norm McDonald films, but that has long passed since I have seen “Screwed.” But back on the subject, this film doesn’t star Costner but it does star Julia Stiles, one of Hollywood’s unappreciated actresses.
Stiles stars as Paige Morgan, a girl who has always put her life plans as her top priority, never wanting to take a chance with anything or anyone that might stand in her way. Her Co-star Luke Mably stars as Eddie, the prince of Denmark trying to escape his identity at a College in the USA. Paige lets down her guard and falls for Eddie only to find out that he is a prince. Now forced to choose the life she has always wanted or taking a chance with what could be the man of her dreams, Paige is stuck with the biggest decision of her life.
For once I actually felt that the fairy tale story this film was telling had some substance to it. Paige doesn’t magically fit in with the others right away because of the way she acts. Paige grew up a farm girl, and farm girls just don’t magically become royalty like some films like to suggest. The ending also surprised me; your traditional Happily Ever after ending isn’t quite played out in this film. The writers of this film did a nice job of keeping the story from being a fairy tale and from being a horrible mix of fairy tale and reality and somehow come out with a story that works well.
In the acting department, we have Luke Mably, a young handsome fellow who has the looks and the British Accent to drive the girls wild but he doesn’t really show us any true acting talents during his screen time. In the end, although he may be a great actor I don’t ever see him reaching the level of an A list actor. In the end the most he will amount to is the handsome face that is stuck as the “other guy” in romantic comedies. Only time will tell however. His co-star Julia Stiles was just as she always is. Like her or hate her, the girl has some great acting powers, but they don’t always show because of the films he finds herself in. Of course there are a few things that make you cringe, some of the ways she grins at the camera make you almost laugh every once in a while (but she’s no Kate Hudson, so that’s ok). She also insists in every movie that she can in fact dance, when everyone knows she can’t. Someday I hope that someone will let her in on that little secret. While this is far from Stiles best performance (as an avid Stiles fan, I truly enjoy her work in “O”) this is one that isn’t too bad.
The film however will soon be forgotten about, and banished to video shelves and then to the $5 rack at Wal-Marts across the nation. It doesn’t really do anything to make it stand out from any other boy meets girl romantic story, and that is what puts the nail in the coffin for this film. It’s not directing, it’s not the story and it’s not because half of the lines that are in the movie trailer aren’t in the film either (although that did anger me.) It’s simply because it lacks the originality that will give it staying power for future audiences to enjoy.
While I won’t tell people to rush out and see this film, I will tell you that it is good for what it is. It doesn’t aspire to be great. It’s just another modern day girl’s fairy tale of being whisked away by a handsome prince. If you are a guy like me, don’t try to figure out why the fantasy of being whisked away by a handsome, rich, and inbred royal family appeals to girls. Just be glad that you have a girlfriend who hasn’t been whisked away from you by such a man. And while you’re at it, take her to a film like the Prince and Me. While in the end it’s just and average film, you may be able to trick your girl into thinking you have a heart.