The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
Mia Thermopolis is now a college graduate and on her way to Genovia to take up her duties as princess. Her best friend Lilly also joins her for the summer. Mia continues her 'princess lessons'- riding horses side-saddle, archery, and other royal. But her complicated life is turned upside down once again when she not only learns that she is to take the crown as queen earlier than expected...
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the audience applauded
Plenty to Like, Plenty to Dislike
This is one of the few movies I've ever seen where the whole audience broke into spontaneous, loud applause a third of the way in.
It's been 5 years since Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) found out that she's princess. Mia is turning 21 and wants to succeed her grandmother Queen Renaldi (Julie Andrews) of Genovia. Viscount Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies) convinces the parliament that Mia must be married or else his nephew Nicholas Devereaux (Chris Pine) gets the throne. She is given 30 days. Mabrey convinces Nicholas to stop her at any cost. Mia hates Nicholas but the Queen invites him to stay. Mia quickly picks Andrew Jacoby (Callum Blue) to marry. He seems to be a perfectly nice guy. Joe (Hector Elizondo) is still protecting the royals. Lilly Moscovitz (Heather Matarazzo) comes for a surprise visit. Things heat up when Mia falls for Nicholas.The story has lost its innocent charms. The moments, where they try to bring back that feeling like the bow and arrow scenes, are just too fake. There is a scene where Abigail Breslin is a young orphan. It's a good moment of trying to be heart warming. The rest is a bland rom-com. I don't really like Chris Pine here no matter how hard Anne Hathaway tries to sell it. On top of it all, Genovia looks like a street in a Disney amusement park. There is too much faking going on.
I am of the opinion that everything in life needs to be viewed in a proper perspective.You can't compare Princess Diaries to a masterpiece directed by Ridley Scott.It would be profoundly unfair to both parties. Over all,this movie which I happened to watch one night when it was too late to bother finding something else worth watching on TV,is okay to pass an hour and a half with when you need an uncomplicated laugh. No more,no less. A romcom for girls under 20 and perhaps their moms. Full of americanocentric stereotypes,a fictional continental European country which resembles a liliput nation such as Luxembourg and where people's names are a mish-mash of Italian,French and German-sounding syllables. Think "General von Klinkerhoffen" from "Allo',Allo'" and you will be pretty close. A country where monarchy actually RULES,like it did in the medieval times,a fictional,uncomplicated Europe with Sleeping Beauty- castles,green pastures complete with shepherds and cobbled streets.And all of this meets a gum-chewing,easy-going all-American girl who introduces the revolutionary idea of women actually being able to marry whomever they choose. What a remarkable achievement!It initiallt frightens me a bit to think that some people in the USA actually might believe that this represents a true picture of the European countries where monarchy still exist,but the thought is merely amusing.No,European monarchs do not RULE countries,they are merely trade marks. So now you know it.
I decided to try the first one from Disney as I had heard a relative amount about it, and then I saw there was a sequel with a lower rating, so I tried that too, from director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman). Basically Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) has settled into her new life as Princess of Genovia, living in the kingdom with her grandmother Queen Clarisse Renaldi (Dame Julie Andrews). It is a tradition that the Princess should marry in order to take that crown and lead the country, this is what the mean Viscount Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies). He is sure he can get Mia to fall in love with and marry his nephew Nicholas Devereaux (Chris Pine), even when she is already engaged to boring but good-looking Andrew Jacoby (Callum Blue). Thirty days is the amount of time Mia has to decide what to do, and when she does initially decide to marry Callum, on the day, she may have second thoughts. In the end, with the Queen's permission, and the support of others in the crowd, Mia decides not to marry, and this will be that will be the future for any Princess. Also starring Hector Elizondo as Joe, Heather Matarazzo as Lilly Moscovitz Kathleen Marshall as Charlotte Kutaway, Tom Poston as Lord Palimore and The Nutty Professor's Larry Miller as Paolo. Hathaway is still reasonably charming and amusing in parts, and Andrews is still a dignified and regal support, it's just what they've been made to do that's the problem. The film is too slow and long to be the same sort of comedy as the predecessor, and the story is flat and uninteresting to care about, I dozed off three times during it, a silly sequel. Adequate!
Perhaps over-exposure to this fluffy stuff has jaded me. But the best thing that could happen to Genovia is a brutal revolution followed by a bloody civil war; the second best is that John Rhys-Davies grabs power and outlaws Anne Hathaway. The most irritating thing about the film is that it assumes Hathaway's character - pleasant enough but feckless, lazy, selfish and irredeemably clumsy - is in some way the queen that Genovia desperately needs. Um, no. She would be much happier without the responsibility and Genovia would be a lot better off with someone who actually wanted the job and was determined to be good at it. I know, it isn't even close to a film to take seriously. But even in fun should it be handing out the message that with great power comes the ability to muck about and it doesn't really matter how you treat people who respect you and to whom you have an obligation?