The Princess Diaries
Released 08/03/2001 Rated: G
I remember being so excited to see this movie when it came out. Never read the books. For some reason they just weren’t on my radar. But this movie had me itching to go to the theater.
High school sophmore Mia Thermopolis receives a visit from her estranged grandmother who tells her she is actually the princess of Genovia. Perfectly content with being invisible for the rest of her life, Mia does not have any intention of running a country. However, she agrees to take princess lessons until the upcoming ball where she will either accept or abdicate her title to the crown.
This movie was a ton of fun, and it still is. So many quotes came rushing back to me as I was watching this again, and I loved every second of it. This movie was very much a staple during my adolescents. Rewatching now, it does feel a little concise, but it’s still done very well. Usually we take some time to set up the protagonist’s “boring” life before introducing the disruption of it, but here we jump right in. It’s kind of refreshing. We’re not missing any of the details because we still get them.
Julie Andrews was perfectly cast as Queen Clarisse. As far as I’m concerned, the woman is royalty. Hector Elizondo is great as the stoic bodyguard/driver. And Anne Hathaway, in her break-out role as Mia Thermopolis, was also spot on. She can do both clumsy and elegant, and I believe both. I want to say that I heard that she even missed the chair and ended up on the floor laughing in her audition, which is the embodiment of this character in a nutshell.
Released 08/11/2004 Rated: G
As much as it pains me to admit it, I find this film very forgettable. Even after having just rewatched it I was like “wait…what?” There’s nothing outstanding or memorable about it. It’s a cute little film, I just didn’t feel any substance to it. 😦
Five years since the end of the previous movie, Mia has graduated college and is ready to take over for her grandmother as Queen of Genovia. However, Parliament is enforcing the law that states the princess cannot take the throne without first acquiring a husband. Unhappy with the thought of an arranged marriage, Mia agrees to try to find someone before the month is up and her birthright is forfeit.
The theme/moral of both of these movies is to face your fears, put others before yourself, and figuring out who you are and what you stand for. These themes seem to get overshadowed a bit, especially in the sequel.
The only good thing I can say about this installment is that it didn’t put me to sleep and I didn’t feel as if the film was talking down to me in any way. But I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. The first one, yes. Always.