The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

"Terrible"

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement Review


How's this for timing: Almost three years to the day after the release of the original The Princess Diaries, and on the heels of its sparkling new special edition DVD, we get the follow-up Diaries in theaters! You knew the sequel would eventually follow - after all, we just have to see the little princess take her throne.

Now a college graduate, Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway) has returned to her home country of Genovia to celebrate her 21st birthday. According to Genovian law, she is eligible to replace her widely popular grandmother (Julie Andrews) as the queen. Unfortunately for the young Mia, the law also states that a princess must be married before she is crowned. Complicating matters further, Viscount Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies) demands that his nephew Sir Nicholas (Chris Pine) is the rightful heir to the throne. What's a princess to do?

Mia is given only thirty days to find a suitable to spouse marry before Nicholas takes over Genovia. She desires true love, not just somebody handpicked from a book of eligible bachelors. Much to her chagrin, it's decided that she will date Prince Andrew (Callum Blue). After a walk on the beach and a stroll through the castle's immaculately landscaped grounds, they become engaged and the wedding preparations begin immediately. At the same time, Mabrey and Nicholas are plotting ways to prevent the royal wedding.

The princess may be five years older, but she is just as clumsy and awkward as before. Mia is constantly falling over herself, knocking things over, or causing some sort of commotion. PD2 panders to this goofiness as if this is the only thing that will get a rise out of the predominately pre-teen crowd. The flimsy script places Mia in numerous irrelevant situations for no other reason than for her to make a fool of herself. PD2 repeats the same shenanigans that shackled the first film - do we really need more of it this time around? If Mia is going to be a queen, isn't it time she starts acting like one?

But, I digress; apparently, it's the silliness that kids gravitate to most. When it's not on a sugar high, PD2 interjects positive messages of morality. After being confronted with the news that Mia must marry, Queen Clarisse insists that Parliament change the law because a 21st century woman shouldn't have to be married. Messages like this come and go at random, and provide PD2 with something a bit more meaningful. Unfortunately, the film's final message rings the loudest and is clearly the worst of all.

Though this may be conceived as a spoiler, it's painfully obvious from the beginning that Mia is destined to fall in love with Nicholas. The heavy-handed plot lodges Nicholas and Mabrey at the castle for no apparent reason other than to bring Mia and Nicholas closer. She spends most of her time loathing him as the man whose going to steal her throne. Once she admittedly falls in love with him, it's only because he's attractive. Mia knows little about Nicholas, and clearly not enough to fall for him. PD2 contradicts and betrays its previously positive messages about feminine independence by making Mia settle for a man she loves only for his looks.

Lock me up in the dungeon - this royal engagement is a sham.

DVD extras include a gag reel, deleted scenes, a commentary track from Marshall and Andrews, and (gulp) a Kelly Clarkson video.

The princess's beachhead.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 113 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 11th August 2004

Box Office USA: $95.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $95.1M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures [us]

Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 86

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Mia Thermopolis, as Queen Clarisse Renaldi, as Joe, as Viscount Mabrey, as Lilly Moscovitz, as Nicholas Devereaux, as Andrew Jacoby, as Paolo, Raven-Symoné as Asana, Kathleen Marshall as Charlotte Kutaway

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